Contemporary Casa en el Bosque, Mexico
The concept of this project was to see whether or not the architects were capable of building a house that would respect nature to the fullest and forge a connection with the building’s surroundings (without speaking of energy, sustainability, and ecology) that through its impact and experience would generate that same respect for the natural world. To do so, full advantage was taken of the slope of the land in order to create visual connections at different elevations with the existing vegetation and landscape beyond.
The site is a splendid plot covering 3,500 m2 with rich and varied flora, very tall trees, and a view towards the layered hills of Valle de Bravo – a town 150 km south-west of Mexico City. The climate is cool in winter while summer temperatures can reach 33°C and heavy rain falls daily between June and October.
The house occupies a natural ledge in the hillside, facing the view to the south and turning its back to the winds coming in from the north. The ground drops away beneath the floor, emphasizing the slope of the land and thereby dramatizing the house’s progress through the site. The house evokes the feeling of floating above the garden, accentuating a sense of contact with nature.
The continuity between landscape and building is stressed by a glazed structural window system, transcending conventional distinctions between inside and outside. As a result, all the spaces are in direct and intimate contact with the outdoors. The play of light and shadow upon these windows echoes the abstracted shadows of trees cast across the courtyards of the convent in Desierto de los Leones, located near Mexico City. Images courtesy of Paul Rivera, ArchPhoto.
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