ARCHI 135 – Joe Voelker – Exercise 101 – Beauty of Chukum in Modern Mexican Architecture


I read an article from on the use of a stucco-like material called Chukum in Yucatanian architecture. The article described that this process was an ancient Mayan technique of mixing tree bark from the Havardia albican tree with cement that creates an impermeable defense for indoor and outdoor use on buildings and also can be used as a pool liner (pictured). Chukum is different from stucco because it is naturally colored, impermeable, and also connects Yucatan with a cultural past that had been erased by the Spanish conquest of the Maya civilization. Most stucco needs additives and top coats in order to achieve the same impenetrability or color. Chukum is also more sustainable because it comes from a local tree that allows for little expenditures of energy on jobs.

Comments (1)

  1. That ‘stucco-like material’, Chukum, sounds like it was their cement, that’s super interesting. I didn’t know the mayans -let alone anyone, really- had that kind of knowledge, back then, to make such an innovation, but then to also to make it so strong, it’s made the same way today, that’s impressive.

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