Architects: Juan Carlos Loyo Arquitectura
Location: Querétaro, México
Architect In Charge: Juan Carlos Loyo
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 2,763 sqm
Photographs: Juan Carlos Loyo
The basic values of this house come from the understanding of the surrounding environment along with the study of vernacular architecture. Our semi-dry climate brought us to the use of passive methods, and, like vernacular spaces, there where many resources to use: orientation, thermic mass, cross ventilation, hand made materials and other proven methods.
The use of a central (oval) patio to divide public and private spaces also allowed us to create a sculptural garden, that it’s flooded with rain water in summer for cooling. Cross ventilation and outside living is encouraged through the connection of inner spaces to terraces and gardens. Earth is a poor conductor of temperature, so local rammed earth walls keep the temperature comfortable and cool during summer and warm in winter. Because of this and the calculated sun intakes, this house doesn’t use HVAC.
Mexico has mainly lost a rich tradition of building houses with earth. This house is the first one in the region to use local earth and traditional constructive methods joined to contemporary spatial notions of aesthetics, dimensions, modern living, ecological planning and best use of resources like the sun, rain and wind to create a comfortable environment without the use of electrical means.
The workers learned the constructive method and because the materials can be cheaply bought, they learned to build structures based mainly on their labor and knowledge, not on the amount of money they have.