The house is located in-between single family houses in Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood in northwest Mexico City. It is a very regular and flat land, 13 meters long and 25 meters deep. At the front of the house (west) can be seen a glen surrounded by very tall trees, which is the only view because the adjacent dwellings are higher buildings.
The lot has an area of 310 sq. meters, which is uncommon in the neighborhood; being most of the lot sizes greater than 1000 sq. meters.
The building has a 5 meter front restriction, where nothing could be built and it’s attached to the south limit of the lot in order to gain the most sunlight throughout the day.
The main objectives of the design scheme were to work with the topography. Around the main composition of two stacked boxes where the negative space becomes as important as the positive one, giving place to different spaces and ambients like the living in the ground floor or the gym in the first floor with a bridge and terraces in the first floor and rooftop.
The main interior spaces are divided by furniture with specific storage and working functions. This system responds to an activity analysis where these are grouped by floor: The public activities such as cooking, preparing and serving are located in the main/ground floor. Private and familiar activities like sleeping, living and exercise are situated in the first floor, along with the main garden. The most private area, the main bedroom is located in the second floor with its walking closet and bathroom, a small living and terrace.
In order to achieve the texture and effect desired we used rough cast concrete with reused 3 inches wide timber joist formwork displayed horizontally. When exposed to light the shadow interplay of this texture is very attractive.
Other wood appliances in the house were whitened American Oak running bond panels, which let the doors vanish in the panel joints. This contrasts with a much rougher appliance: re-used wood, as finishing material for the greatest piece of functional furniture which divides the ground floor from the first floor by containing the staircase, and giving the public space a rustic accent.
The ground floor is structured with cast in site concrete apparent walls, which work as the following boxes’ base and at the same time relate perfectly with the ground from where they emerge. The first box (first floor) consists of concrete walls with a paste finishing, and the second box is structured with tridimensional Vierendeel steel trusses which let the box have basically no internal structure.
The verticality of the house, as well as the height of the existent adjacent buildings resulted in different strategies and mechanisms to filter the light down the ground floor. This was achieved mainly with very particular skylights.
The sun exposure of the third storey resulted in a double façade consisting in a wooden louver lattice which filters the sun giving comfort to the room without taking away the forested glen view.
Also the height of the windows help by letting natural light get into the house and become an important part in the composition by reflecting the landscape work around them.
Although the majority of spaces are contained in different ways with functional furniture, most of the space clarity is achieved with level changes which let interior and exterior elements interact making the space more fluent.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Type: Residential – Houses
Built area: 472 m2 (1416 sq. ft)
Client: Yuri Zagorin Alazraki
Design Team: Yuri Zagorin Alazraki, Felipe Buendía Hegewisch, Jesse Rafael Mendez Hernandez
Photographs: Rafael Gamo, Yhoshihiro Koitani, Javier Navarro