- Design Team:Jaime Ruiz Vega, Juan Manuel Marín, Silvia Chávez Cerda.
Text description provided by the architects. Located in San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), Casa Shoemaker is a vacation home built on top of a pronounced semi-arid slope; this last element served as the basis for the creative development of the project and helps to achieve a balanced vision between low cost and functionality. Our objective was to take advantage of the site’s conditions and climate from the region, solving the project by two distinct volumetric structures.
The first volume is presented as an exposed pure-concrete foundation that supports the structure and on the other hand, achieves the budget objective of using low-cost materials summed to minimize future maintenance requirements.
In terms of materials, the project is defined by a combination of exposed concrete represented in various forms, giving the buildings a pure, elegant, and sober appearance. The material palette allows colors and textures to merge with the natural landscape, its context, and surroundings. The construction becomes one with the vegetation and the sky. Raw concrete allowed us to project on its textures and shades imposing a solid character to the home, merging but at the same time differentiating and contrasting both levels naturally.
The entrance is located on the upper floor. The user is received by a framed visual ending point directed to the south; a frame that was prioritized in design and structure to give a welcoming feeling as you enter the building. Inside, the raw materials and its neutral tones are permanently leaving greater visibility to the outside views and its natural surroundings. One of the main objectives of this project was to give the household a sense of belonging by creating a tribute and link to its family origins. The artistic elements and furniture designed by Don Shoemaker blend in perfect harmony with the context of the construction, where the sling chairs by Señal© factory stand out with honor and pride.
The architectural project remarks on the functional differences and characteristics between both sets of floors. One area includes the intimate family social area whilst the other provides the recreational and visitor areas. The main structure is a rectangle that separates the main bedroom and the living area that is compound into free space, blended with a living room, dining room, and kitchen.
As we move down to the basement, the exposed concrete base is discovered. From which an elegant green tree emerges from the ground generating a contrast of colors and shadows allowing this space to give character and granting the tree a protagonist position within the house; it may be seen from any position and view. On the lower floor, there is a flexible space joined by two paths. One is a spiral staircase that leads to an open hallway connecting to the guest bedroom and bathroom. The other is presented by a concrete staircase starting in the upper structure and serving as a communication path to the central courtyard; this element with cantilevered steps is one of the most interesting visual ending points inside the building.
A close-by water body and some training tracks generate natural framed landscapes that are in constant change; landscapes gently submitted to the flow of the sunlight as the day passes as well as the season. This is achieved by the floor-to-ceiling windows that appear horizontally, protected by a set of lattices used to reduce sunlight. These blocking elements allow the windows to be open and naturally ventilate the interior spaces controlling the temperature inside the home.