Fortresses are meant to keep people out, but French architect Ludwig Godefroy designed this house on Mexico's Zicatela Beach as a sort of residential oxymoron. With monolithic walls, the holiday home is indeed fortress-like, but it also has an openness that makes it airy and welcoming -- traits befitting of a beach home.
The home is partly inspired by ancient Aztec temples. Not only does this inspiration come through in the use of concrete, which has a washed-out coloring that's quite similar to the stones of Aztec temples, but the home also has a series of steps that allow access into and out of one of the central courtyards. Aztec temples are famous for their ziggurats, and those stairs are a visual reference.
Image Credit: Rory Gardiner