Main images by: Cesar Bejar
The inspiration behind this project in Morelia, Mexico, was derived from carefully listening to the subtle murmurs and whispers of environments like this, as well as the client’s search for protection and shelter.
How can one feel protected? What can be done when one feels vulnerable?
Pulling a bed sheet over ourselves is a very elemental act that alludes to the most basic part of the self. A bed sheet hides, protects, wraps and creates a space beneath it that is safe and intimate, to keep away any spirit, ghost or demon that may be surrounding the room.
At the same time, this project generates a continuity in the beautiful living surface around the land, forming a new hill in a place already surrounded by many.
Ancient architectural poetry
The architecture is like an accent on the words of a poem, like a comma or a question mark, but never the actual poem itself. The poem is already written by the pines, oaks, sweet acacia, fireflies, road, fence, neighbour’s water well, earth, orchard and nightingale.
Four concrete walls contribute accents to the poem, surprisingly emerging from the landscape. Two of them are bearing the land of the new hill created by raising the bed sheet, and two others are framing the access as they escort guests into the house.
The path is wide enough to walk comfortably alone, yet narrow enough to discourage accompaniment. Visitors are cast into a pilgrimage of solitude that leads to an old tree with such a significant presence that it was necessary to distort the linearity of one of the walls with a gentle curve to be able to pass next to it… so close that it is even possible to graze it.
After crossing the tree threshold, going down a few solid pearled stone steps, and opening a heavy steel door, a concrete vault stands, supporting the loads of the green bed sheet that rests upon it; providing a sensation of being inside a cold, dark, but strangely cosy cave.
Creating a cosy cave
Concrete was chosen as the main material due to a dream about this new rock melting while inevitably interacting with the forest and changing colours… greys that turned to greens, blacks and yellows that were gradually incorporated into the environment.
The flooring emphasises an aroma of wood that is perceived when surrounded by pine trees, providing balance to the cold temperature of the concrete; and finally, steel that, with time and rainfall, acquires an appearance like tree bark.
As for the spatial organisation, the public areas on the left side of the house are completely exposed to the wooded ravine, and on the right side are open more timidly to a courtyard with treetop and sky views.
It was important to have very few references of elements that would connect to a specific moment in time, so the refrigerator and appliances were hidden, the lighting was arranged very discreetly and only the four main materials were included: Stone, wood, concrete and steel. It was very important for the client to preserve the rough and primitive atmosphere of being in the mountains.
• Architectural firm: HW Studio.
• Project location: El Vaquerito, Morelia, Michoacán.
• Completion year: 2021.
• Gross built area (square metres or square feet): 250m².
• Lead architects: Rogelio Vallejo Bores and Oscar Didier Ascencio Castro.
• Team: Sergio Antonio Garcia Padilla, Jesus Alejandro Lopez Hernandez, Alberto Gallegos Negrete.
• Construction company: ARGA Constructora.
• Budget: 350 000 USD.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation to v2com newswire for the use of the information contained in this article. For more information, visit www.hw-studio.com
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