Stone and clouds: a house in Mexico and a pavilion set amidst greenery designed by Cadaval & Solà-Morales

Stone and clouds: a house in Mexico and a pavilion set amidst greenery designed by Cadaval & Solà-Morales

A project in the countryside.

An explicit request to use stone as the main building material starting from the natural characteristics of the site was the basis for the construction of a house and then its leisure pavilion as a lounge completing it in Tepoztlán, Mexico, to a design by architects Cadaval & Solà-Morales. Two buildings bonded by intense reciprocal dialogue through the use of figures and materials as well as the relationship with the rocky landscape that the well-studied views from the house and pavilion constantly frame.

The House

Casa MA is located on the outskirts of Tepoztlán, a small, picturesque village of pre-Hispanic origins with a colonial urban centre 60 km from Mexico City. Tepoztlán is famous for its pleasant climate throughout the year and its lush vegetation, which reaches its peak vitality in the rainy season. The project for the home responded to the search for a bright, spacious and comfortable setting, opening the views and main rooms on to the two large mountains on the sides of the site and closing them as regards other houses nearby. The volumetric equilibrium of the composition is based on the definition of an open central space, a kind of slit that defines access to the house. Moving around the various parts of the house develops on the external perimeter of the building in a sequence of open and closed spaces, with triangular patios diagonally intersecting the volume and fragmenting its compactness.

The lounge

Located on one side of Casa MA’s garden with which it shares the landscape and the interwoven views, the lounge came into being through a very specific programme: it is a shady space near the pool, a place for reading and play near the water, a space for bodily well-being. While using the same design language as the house, the lounge project sought a different scale relationship between the intimacy of the small patio and the opening towards the luxuriant vegetation. In this work of mediation, the use of natural stone assumes a fundamental value.

Material and place

The walls of both buildings are made of local dimension stone supporting the single-span reinforced concrete roofs. The texture of the stone is rough and imposing; inside the architecture, it takes up the character of the landscape as seen in the backdrop of Tepoztlán’s two huge mountains. Geometry and material: a dual character, just like the dual soul of designers Eduardo Cadaval and Clara Solà-Morales, who founded their studio in New York in 2003 only to move it in 2005 to the two offices in Barcelona and Mexico City coming to be seen, today, as one of the emerging global studios.

Project: Eduardo Cadaval & Clara Solà-Morales
Collaborators: Eduardo Alegre, Orsi Maza, Alexandra Coppieters, Martha Perez (interior & landscape design), Ricardo Camacho de la Fuente (structures)
Location: Tepoztlán, Mexico
Completion: 2016 (home), 2017 (pavilion)
Images: Sandra Pereznieto

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