Sitting high above its neighbors, this house for a young couple and their three small children offers views of Chipinque National Park to the south, and Cerro de la Silla Mountain to the east.
Design concept and solution:
With simple geometric shapes, the architect intended this 13,200-square-foot, three-level house to evoke lightness within a language of massive volumes and heavy materials such as black granite, exposed concrete, and exposed steel. Other than the overall size of the house, sustainability informed every design choice. To keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, double concrete block walls are filled with polisocianurate (an ecological insulator) and windows are double-paned with low emissivity glass. Solar power is used for water heaters, as well as for pool heating and garden lighting. A hydronic heating system reduces power consumption, as does south-oriented skylights. Pluvial water harvesting and gray water treatment systems water the garden, which is mostly landscaped with native vegetation. A green roof provides further insulation and helps to integrate the house into its natural surroundings.
On the lowest level there is a media room that connects to the pool, as well as service areas. The main level contains living, dining, and kitchen areas, as well as laundry, service, and parking. Interiors are simple and uncluttered, with a central concrete tower on the main floor containing a sculptural staircase made of wood, glass, and steel, within a surprisingly high space, where natural light is captured through a series of museum-like skylights. Bedrooms and private spaces are on the top level.
Total construction cost:
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record
Carlos Miranda and Ulises Treviño
CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad