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"Casa Mangulica, our home in Telchac Puerto, Yucatan, was designed and built by architect Alberto Zavala of Alberto Zavala Arquitectos.  We had extensive conversations with Mr. Zavala about sustainable design and the house more than met our expectations. The house design follows our suggestion for an indoor/outdoor experience, that could be summarized in one sentence "one should be able to watch the rain fall inside of the house without getting wet....". Even though the actual living space is quite modest, the house feels (and looks) palatial since every indoor space is associated with an outdoor counterpart. Thus, a three bedroom house has 5 open sky patios while still allowing protected (dry) access to all of the living quarters. This is not even taking into account the beautiful ocean-view roof terrace.

Another feature of the house is the natural climate control. Although we have installed AC units in every room, we have not used them a single time (now for three years!). The house was designed to benefit from (and amplify) the natural airflow with louvered windows and movable glass panels. The open patios serve as "chimneys" for the air circulation.

Our house is also collecting and conserving water. We have three water sources:  underground cistern, a rooftop water container, and with a flick of a handle we can collect the water from our flat roof and store it in the cistern, or use it for watering of the plants.

Needles to say, we are very happy with our house and will spend our retirement years there. We have planted bamboo, papayas, coco-palms, and other plants to maximize the shade and water preservation in the future."

Pictures of Mangulica house

Slavko Milekic,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania,USA

"We have been very, very pleased with Alberto.  He seems to have an excellent sense of design.  Two years ago we had plans for a house on the beach. He had drawn the plans and then had it permitted.

Construction was exactly to the detail we had agreed on and was with high quality material including some unusual woods. My wife can be very picky and she has been very satisfied with his work. He built exactly what we had agreed and the detail was exactly what we wanted.  He seems completely honest to me.


Alberto´s English is excellent. Vastly better than my Spanish. He is practical and has swayed us away from some decisions which he thought were impractical due to humidity or location or maintenance issues.

One concern is not being on site while the work is going on but he sends photos weekly to show progress.  We have had no issues with this. Of course it would be better if one were there all the time, but we are both still working. I think I would not trust another builder to build what I wanted and needed while I was not present. I would trust Alberto.  In my work I have engaged architects and builders a couple times in the US and he has been at least their equal.  In many ways very superior."

Michael & Sarah Cooke,Tulsa, Oklahoma,USA

“From our very first meeting, Architect Alberto Zavala exhibited excellent written and verbal communication skills to ensure the success of our vision of an oceanfront beach house. He was able to accomplish this through outstanding listening skills with a passion for his work, backed by drive and a strong work ethic. Architect Zavala translated our ideas onto paper using his drawing and sketching skills, and via computer programs presented a final 3-D design. He collaborated very effectively with other architects, engineers, attorneys, as well as environmental and other governmental agencies to complete a turn-key design, permit, and build process. Finally, Architect Alberto Zavala is a relaxed, easygoing professional who successfully integrates mechanical, electrical, and structural elements into his designs, taking into account the unique requirements of the specific building materials of the Yucatan.” 

Dr.and Mrs. Jeffrey Garber,Kernersville, North Carolina,USA

"We put our trust in Alberto Zavala to design our dream beach home for our partial retirement in Mexico.  He did not disappoint - the design he provided to us captured all of elements we wanted to incorporate in our home, as well as designing it perfectly to fit in our beach front environment.  We can't wait to begin construction!"

Mary Jo and John Crowell,Binghamton,New York,USA

“Alberto was recommended to us by a neighbor who owned a lot near ours on the Gulf coast of the Yucatan. They had used Alberto as their architect and were very pleased with his services, so we decided to use him as our architect as well. We couldn’t be happier with him. He’s very professional as well as personable and proved to be very flexible as well as prompt, throughout our whole process. Although, we have not gotten to the building stage, I know from our neighbor’s experience with their building, that he kept them up-to-date on the status and even e-mailed them weekly photos of the progress. This was important to us, since we weren’t able to be there on a regular basis to oversee the process. The quality of the craftsmanship was outstanding as well. We would highly recommend him to anyone wishing to build in the Yucatan.”

Richard and Jane Johnson,Savannah, Georgia, USA

“Working with Alberto was very easy even though we were thousands of miles apart. We were able to go from concept to fully designed project with very little effort. He has a great eye for design and understands the special needs of the client and the environment he is working in. I would recommend Alberto without hesitation whether you are working on the coast or in the city.”

Dr.Jeffrey S.Slocum,Bath,Maine,USA

“Living in the home that Architect Alberto Zavala designed for me is essentially living in a home proper for Yucatan,in other words living in a tropical house suited for Merida.I enjoy very much the fluidity achieved between interior with exterior living areas,terrace and pool areas,garden areas,service areas as well as private areas.I have lived over a year in my home,without using air conditioning,the units are there, but there is no need for using them…the house is so fresh! design strategys were conceived to serve the house and to live in a smart way, in a smart budget,as he told me since the begining...keeping things simple…has really worked.The exquisite palette of materials closes a very unique design that happens to transform our daily living in a marvelous encounter of peace and happiness!”

Cecilia de Aguiar, Casa Montecristo, Mérida, Yucatán

“His hi sensibility with the environment and close relation to nature”,define from my point of view the design approach of Architect Alberto Zavala.That is why when I thought in remodeling my home outside Merida and the total design and construction of my Yacht-Marina “Paraíso”development,I didn´t hesitate in calling Architect Zavala.His experience,outstanding design concepts that blend interior with exterior,as well as sensitive proposals that incorporate the use of contemporary and natural finishes with design strategys like natural cross ventilation,respect to site,working with natural light,create at the end a joyful architecture...Keeping things simple,having the budget always in mind since design phases,taking care of the overall administration in a very organized way,resulted in my total satisfaction,and has won a constant approval and recognition of friends and clients.”

Manuel Gutierrez,Mérida,Yucatán

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