- Architecture: Luis Othón Villegas Solís
- Design Documents: Enrique Rivera Valdivia
- Interior Design: Idhalí Navarro
- Construction Team: José Luis Santillan & Hugo Jimenez - Dare Arquitectura
- City: Tapalpa
- Country: Mexico
Text description provided by the architects. La Mandarina is a residential and vacation project for a young family. We worked very closely with their ideas and develop a formal scheme that allows visitors to appreciate the forest from any interior space of the house and towards the magnificent wooded site. The conceptual idea revolves around a geometry composed of three volumes connected with corridors and bridges, and move naturally on the ground. The goal was to achieve a cinematic experience full of movements and surprise moments, where the volumes always frame spectacular visuals towards the forest.
Guest are invited to walk and observe the house from the hillside and above the site. Having a wooded terrain and steep slopes benefited the concept because it offers enriching views from the lowest part of the terrain and through the treetops. The use of regional materials played a relevant role in the design. We used stones and annealed brick painted in black to blend the house with the context.
Inspired by traditional architecture, La Mandarina is a house to be explored. Access to the house is proposed as an element far from the obvious since the house receives visitors through a hidden path towards a connecting bridge. This gesture invites people to navigate and observe the house from different angles. Inspired by the spatial movement proposed by Le Corbusier in the ramps of Maison Le Roche, we created a path that leads to bridges and corridors, creating moments for closeness and openness when navigating the house.
The corridor offers framed visuals that escape to the South, a magnificent wooded view of the site. There is a planned sensory stimulation for a route that leads towards the study. From here one can choose to step on a cantilevered balcony that opens to the forest or appreciate the spectacular view to the interior double-height living room from the tangerine-colored patio.
At ground level, the connecting bridge is transformed into two axes. Axis pointing north and south connects bedrooms and services, whereas axis east-west connects kitchen and terrace. The house slowly slides over the ground as a compromise to contoured the lines of the hill. The corridor route invites visitors to continue exploring and finding mystery and surprise moments. Open views frame the valley. The East became a focal and visual point par excellence, the master bedroom and shower open completely to a forest view uncovered by the morning sun.
The idea of locating the bedroom areas in a separate volume allowed a well-defined scheme where privacy and silence were required. The house invites to be observed from all sides, location, and views of the forest are magnificent assets. The project invites contemplation between the interior and the exterior. La Mandarina is designed to be walked but above all to relax inside the forest and its architecture.