- Design Team : Alejandro Henao Mejía, Luz Marina Restrepo Pérez, Daniela Villegas
- Engeneering : Iván Aristizabal
- City : Envigado
- Country : Colombia
Text description provided by the architects. El Almendral is a countryside house located on the top of the Envigado mountains at the east side of the Aburrá Valley, immersed in a dense tropical forest with a panoramic view over the valley. This plot of land had high slopes that were not removed but reshaped to complement the area. It was an important determinant during the design process given the client requested the vegetation remain.
Located on the hillside, the geometric design of three levels allows grand views of the natural scenery. The outer walls of the levels are built out of dark and light bricks. Above the second level is a roof terrace enclosed by a ramp that leads down to access to the lower floor. The highest level roof is composed of a two-part diagonal surface that creates a geometrical composition of volumes with windows facing the valley.
The distribution of space from highest volume to lowest from the most public to private areas. On the top floor there is the living room, dining room, kitchen, service room, terrace, gym, and Turkish bath. On the lower floors lie the more private quiet space areas such as the library and private rooms. The geometry of the house has been designed to get direct sunlight into the lower levels at the house at 180° views.
From the 882 square foot terrace, views of the cities Sabaneta, Envigado, and Medellin can be seen. There are skylights in the bathrooms and walk-in closets. From the main entrance, you can see the open space over the valley highlighting the surrounding landscape. This landscape includes a garden with a beautiful Acacia, which is a native tree that blooms yellow flowers. A concrete pergola that reflects shadows over a stone wall next to the main entrance door illustrates the intention of using rustic materials to cover the surfaces.
Materials chosen for this project were aimed to highlight the raw appearance. Such as stone, wood, and concrete. They integrate the vegetation inside the spaces. For example, the façade is composed of a wood lattice panel screen that supports a climbing plant to protect the social areas from the direct light radiation during sunset and to create a green atmosphere inside.