Conceived in the 1950s during long hikes among the volcanic magma of the Xitle that hosted a variety of endemic plants and animals, few places offer an environment as rich for modern architecture as the Jardínes del Pedregal. Built on a 3000 square meters plot where a modern house once stood, the project absorbs the characteristic elements of a site that captivated architects, photographers and so many other artists and intellectuals of the Mexican modern movement.
Volumetrically, the proposal is organized around two axes. On the one hand, the footprint of the original house (1955). On the other hand, the precepts first established for the development of Jardínes del Pedregal that envisioned a place where architecture and landscape would communicate with each other. Therefore, all three houses are sheltered within a mature garden. As a visual complement for the houses, a succulent garden appears as a space for contemplation and silence. This garden includes a sculpture by Tezontle Studio that echoes the great pieces of Edward James in the Huastecan rainforest, another modern artist that attempted to establish a profound dialogue between human and vegetal architecture.
Volumes in the house are simple, sustained by the principle of the golden ratio. Columns and windows are in charge of generating rhythm and sequence, at the same time that they offer a perfect amount of natural illumination and garden views. If public spaces in the house point toward the common garden, intimate spaces turn to the private gardens behind each house.
A staircase surrounded by plants guides the houses’ access and accentuates the material presence of the door. The central hall offers a circulating point inside the house. On the first floor, each house holds a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and a family room. Upstairs, you can find a more intimate family room, as well as three private spaces. The third floor is reserved for a terrace contemplating the vast natural views within an intimate and private space.
Materials selected for the facades geometrically frame the different levels and volumes. Order is created by these means through blocks that delineate spaces between walls and columns, at the very same time that they accentuate the horizontality of the project and generate platforms of different depths. The elegant, hand-crafted work of stonemasonry on the facades assembled through golden ratio proportions give an identity of its own. By employing local materials, this echoes once again the modernist movement in Jardínes del Pedregal. Balancing the solid foundations of stone, metal and concrete, the use of oak in the interior spaces offers a warm quality, as does the subtle illumination that grants primacy to the open natural spaces of the immediate landscape.
Lead designerSantiago Hernández Matos, Jose Fainsod Castro, Alejandra Tornel
Photography creditsRafael Gamo, Cesar Bejar
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