Op HouseCuernavaca, Morelos, México
This is a house to be built upon a high steep ridge on the outskirts of Cuernavaca, México. The client’s central request was to have two almost opposite spatial experiences. One closed, quiet and traditional; one open, active and of the character of today.
The first is manifest in an “interior” outdoor court reminding the clients of their small hometown in Spain. The court provides a restricted, calm and simple environment of withdrawal, while also being a central connection for the separate built elements: an unavoidable crossroads to anchor the life of the house.
The second involves a number of strategies. The house is divided into three built forms; each shaped and positioned to face different garden views, while creating spaces, both adjacent and between, that support the family’s day to day lifestyle. Shade overhangs, blocking walls, and carefully dimensioned openings control the exposure to heat and brightness, while carefully daylighting the interiors. The only stair leads to a rooftop deck above the main building. Here, one finds favourite views of the distant mountains and volcanos that surround this part of México.
The structures are built from concrete, brick, and stone. The shapes satisfy the clients’ request to avoid rationalized or orthogonal geometry. Instead, they wanted plans shaped by useful interconnections, routes of travel, and relationships to the site’s features and views. They also wanted a minimum of conventional rooms or halls, and so the interiors are spatially open and extended.