Excerpt: Casa Natura is a residence designed by the architectural firm Cotaparedes Arquitectos. The project takes its name due to the strategy of adapting to the nature of the topography and the solar orientation of the property. In this type of project, where the possibilities are limited, we respond to the clients’ needs.
[Text as submitted by the Architects] Throughout 12 years of professional practice, we have been mainly dedicated to developing single-family homes within private subdivisions in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. These gated neighbourhoods have proliferated due to Mexico’s constant growth of crime, which causes people to decide to live protected by high walls that gives them a sense of security.
We are aware that these neighbourhoods mean a denial of the city since they are closed to it. However, at the same time, we understand that Architecture must be a reflection of its time (as Mies said 100 years ago), and today in Mexico, they are inevitable.
The typology of these houses is limited by a series of conditions typical of the development: dimensions of the sidewalk or the absence of it (as in this case) an area of garages of 35m2, without being a requirement that they are covered, front and rear restriction of 3m, the height of 9m, and a condition on the second level of 2m later, ilihalve to 50 m2 of total construction on that level.
The project takes its name due to the strategy of adapting to the nature of the topography and the solar orientation of the property. In this type of project, where the possibilities are limited, we respond to the clients’ needs. Generally, they ask us for a bedroom on the ground floor with a full bathroom that we decided to give double function so that it serves both for the use of the bedroom and the guests. Fundamentally, this bedroom has a steady relationship with the outside, so we continuously seek to generate a patio that provides good lighting and ventilation and, at the same time, privacy. We believe that privacy is not a luxury but a necessity for human beings.
Something that has allowed the project to evolve in the way of inhabiting is small but significant details; the decoupling of the laundry room from the kitchen as it was done traditionally allows us to maximize the amplitude of the social areas. Due to this, we chose to take the laundry room to the second level linked to a multipurpose space that customers initially requested in a basement. However, analyzing the negative slope of the land that ends with the perimeter wall of the fractionation, which we could not modify in height, we decided to propose a descending section sending the social piece back and gaining at the same time a height and a half of 4.10 m.
Looking for intimacy and adequate control of the northern light, we decided to compress the opening utilizing a structural beam towards a patio that generates a buffer of light and noise towards the avenue. The light generated will be bluish and nuanced due to the north orientation. We extended the white marble floor, covering the patio in its entirety except for a space for an ancient olive tree.
The house as a piece seeks a stereotomic language where mass predominates, and the piece is implanted firmly on the earth. The front façade responds to the solar orientation through a screen wall that blocks the southern beam, reducing the bedrooms’ temperature facing the front. The combination of three materials, white concrete, a flattened cement with white paint and stone pavement, give the austere but elegant character to the façade.