Work TeamDiego Cuevas, Alba Quezada
Structure CalculationsEng. Herminio Gonzalez
Interior DecorationBorder Creations
Text description provided by the architects. This single-family residence is located on top of a hill in a residential area in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The 989 square meter plot was previously occupied by a house that suffered severe structural damage making it impossible to rescue; however, some of the construction materials were salvaged and donated for reuse and recycling. The architectural arrangement was conceived taking two needs in consideration; first, to create a footprint able to accommodate a south facing garden and a central patio, and second to provide a fully functional ground level to accommodate user's needs as they age.
The plot topography also played an important role in the layout distribution, as the downward slope naturally suggested to place the public zone and master bedroom at street level for an easier access, and private areas below surface level; achieving with this arrangement a subtler yet interesting main façade.
The building’s exterior materials were chosen so that the house would age properly while at the same time aiming at a higher energy and maintenance efficiency. The material selection primarily consists of exposed concrete and a double wall of insulated red brick. Double glazed windows with thermal break and insulated metal roof also contribute to the thermal comfort of the house. With an environmentally responsible approach, systems were included to provide for gray water treatment process to sustain the landscape, and solar panels to partially supply the energy needs of the family.
The architectural program is distributed in two levels, the street level mostly occupied by public areas on the front, with the master bedroom on the back and lower level as the private areas. The main access consists on a transitional space including a small patio with a fountain and an indoor lobby; this passage giving access to an open area that includes living, dining rooms, and kitchen, all these with direct communication to the central patio.
A sliding glass wall provides a direct connection between the indoor areas and the central patio, BBQ area and outside chimney, allowing for this whole space to become a unified indoor-outdoor area, with independent access to a visitor’s restroom. As a transitional space between the public and private areas, a cozy and functional family room flooded with natural daylight is located on the back of the ground level, with an independent access to the central patio.
The Master bedroom located on the ground level enjoys a southern garden view and includes a private bathroom with a spacious walking closet and balcony. Wide and comfortable stairs give access to the lower level, consisting of two bedrooms, a home office/man cave/optional fourth bedroom, a small wine cave, and storage space. Each of these rooms with independent access to the garden.