LocationMexico City, Mexico
Architect in ChargeDaniel Álvarez
Design TeamPilar Medina, Rosa López, Susana López, Raúl Chávez, Sergio Valdés, Francisco Puente, Manuel Campos
Text description provided by the architects. This residence is located in a mountain slope surrounded by trees in a forest near Mexico City. It was of utmost importance not to tear down any trees in such a privileged site. This translated in a forced floor plan design, always attempting to avoid disturbing the trees. Because of site’s sloping terrain, access is through the top level through a welcoming foyer. This foyer is located within a connecting structure that unites the two main buildings, the first one being the main building that houses all public rooms such as dining room living room, library room and bedrooms, all enjoying views of the garden; and a second supporting structure aligned with the street that houses service areas such as laundry room, storage and service areas.
These two structures surround a heavily inclined interior wooded courtyard with a 60° slope. At all times the house adapts itself to the topography. Structural elements were cut in specific areas where a tree was nestled in order to avoid disturbing it.
The specific characteristics of this site, its inclination, a northern orientation, and being cloistered underneath trees, it was essential to provide air and warmth to the house. This translated into a clear central staircase exposed to the south that captures sunlight and functions as a radiator that provides warmth to the interior areas of the house, thus balancing temperatures.
Structurally, the house consists of a metallic structure allowing for large spans, and extended overhangs. All interior partitions are therefore block walls sheathed with wood paneling and stone that are freestanding and do not interfere with the metallic structure and the floating ceiling above.
Few materials were used, all floors are either black granite in public area or wood in the bedrooms, and the main walls are all sheathed with travertine marble in both in the exterior walls and interior partitions. Interior partitions in bedrooms are sheathed with wood paneling.
It was of utmost importance for the house to blend with the landscape without pretension, giving the sensation of having been there for a long time.