Casa Mika is a two-story, 465 sq m residential project designed for a couple with three children in Mexico City.
A narrow plot houses two main white-clay brick bodies with a series of subtractions and openings designed to generate courtyards, each with its own specific character and feel. The minimalist interiors spill out into these courtyards, which are partly planted, allowing the residents to easily transfer their activities outside. A corridor connects the two volumes, acting like a glass bridge and transitional area.
A monolithic use of brick unifies the unique configuration of solids and voids from floor to roof, creating a cohesive visual flow and an ever-changing play of patterns as the sun moves around the building. Although mostly abstract in its use (covering all façades and some of the walls inside), the predominant use of locally sourced brick gives Casa Mika a textured physical quality, at the same time creating a gentle and contemplative atmosphere throughout the home.
The project is located on a busy avenue, and yet stepping inside gives the feeling of serenity and seclusion. While the house’s more public areas are near the street, the bedrooms and more private rooms are situated towards the rear, with the courtyards effectively creating a form of privacy buffer. Plants emerge from the ground, climb up the brick lattice and reach for the sky. All of a sudden, the buzz of contemporary city life is dulled by the soft rustling of leaves.
Materials are kept to a restricted palette that emphasizes natural textures and soft color tones. The ironwork used in doors and windows was mostly artisanal work. The exterior skin’s white clay brick is matched by exposed concrete and oak wood joinery inside, while quarry stone lines the internal courtyards’ floor.