Casa Wabi Is a Modernist Artist Refuge Along Oaxaca’s Coast

30 minutes from Puerto Escondido, along the coast of Oaxaca, lies Casa Wabi, an artist house created by Brooklyn-based Mexican contemporary artist Bosco Sodi to promote the exchange of ideas between artists of various disciplines and local communities.

The building is the home base of Casa Wabi foundation, headed by Sodi and directed by Patricia Martin. The estate includes six bedrooms, two shared studios, a multipurpose room, screening room, exhibition gallery, sculpture garden and multiple recreational areas.

The home’s namesake, “Wabi,” is derived from the Japanese concept “Wabi Sabi” which prescribes a considerate way of living and finding beauty in imperfection, impermanence, accident and nature.

The house itself is designed by 1995 Pritzker prize winner Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect whose famous works include the Church of the Light in Osaka and Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum. The architectural concept of the house features a 312-meter-long concrete wall that stretches from East to West along the coastline, while a swimming pool extends towards the water to create a continuous section of aquamarine blue.

The largest room is dedicated to living and dining with a sprawling wooden dining bench and lounge chairs that face the coast. The concrete walls are juxtaposed with layers of dried Royal Palm Tree leaves for ventilation and as an homage to Oaxaca’s local architecture—buildings with such roofs are called Palapa.

Six smaller private cabins or Palapas serve as guesthouses for artists and creative residents. The project has received greater attention lately with the burgeoning tourists who come to surf and tan along Oaxaca’s coasts.

Photography is by Edmund Sumner.

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