La Ceiba, Honduras
Casa General Solis
Reconstructing a tropical villa
This project entails the complete reconstruction of a tropical villa dating from the beginning of the twentieth century. Despite being under historical protection for being one of the last remaining examples of the traditional wooden architecture of the North Coast of Honduras, the structure had been abandoned and collapsed. The challenge here was to rebuild the structure with the original facades unchanged, while simultaneously refitting the inside for its new role as a commercial space.
The project added a new secondary building in the same style as the original house. This structure frames the garden and new parking lot and reinforces the new public nature of the outside space. A bridge was also added as the new access to the upper floors of the original house. The cohesiveness of the compound is reaffirmed by the iconic green and white color scheme, which was very common in the Caribbean Coast before the widespread use of concrete.
New trees were planted to restore the original garden, now with parking incorporated.
The ground floor houses a café and a retail space. The upper floor has been reconverted into office space. The attic, previously unused, now has a studio apartment. Access to the top floors is via a new bridge, which also serves as the drive-through for the café.
For increased stability, the building now has a concrete skeleton hidden between the traditional wood walls. The new windows are made using the same technique and wood as the original ones.
A historical picture from 1940 shows the house in its heyday. It was later abandoned and fell into disrepair.
Previously the back-yard facade, the new entrance is now located along the city’s main street. The original fence was maintained in the corner, but opened up along the garden be more inviting and reflect its new public use.
· Construction Supervision
La Ceiba, Honduras
Dec 2017 – Dec 2019