Maak Bo’oy


Repurposing Vernacular Mayan Architecture For Storm Resilience


Luis Bosoms Hernandez (M.Arch with Distinction)

Rodrigo Maron Rius (M.Arch with Distinction)

Maxence Fromentin (M.Sc with Distinction)

2022 – 2023


The research presented in this thesis addresses the themes of hurricane catastrophe, vernacular architecture, resilient design and wind-driven form-finding in Mexico´s Yucatán Peninsula. A multiscalar design process guided the research.

At a morphological scale, the research develops an innovative dwelling system for the Mayans with a methodology that integrates wind-driven form-finding processes and material experimentations by exploring local bamboo and natural fibres’ mechanical properties. This design is informed by abstracting a study of the indigenous lifestyle and architecture. It proposes the development of a hurricane resilient, thermal regulating efficient, and community-based auto-construction system for a new Mayan dwelling. More than redefining the functional morphologies, a micro-urban and landscape design strategy has been developed to enhance economic gains, community sense, as well as wind and flood mitigation capabilities in order to create more resilient communities that can be used as safe zones for minor hurricanes.

Furthermore, a study at a regional scale was conducted to create an emergency network for Mayan communities to evacuate whenever a major hurricane hits the peninsula. This network informs on rural safe zones where Mayan settlements too far away from urban areas, can seek shelter during the storm.

Contribution: An alternative to the Mayan vernacular architecture’s construction methods and urban planning, improving the hurricane protection system and living conditions for Mayan people.