Name of the project: Casa Olguín
Location: Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, Jalisco, México.
Architects: Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos
Constructor: Navarro Construcciones
Time of construction: 8 months – 2010
Plot area: 390 sq.m
Built area: 135 sq.m
Construction system: lightened slabs and cement bricks.
Led by Ar. Abraham Cota Paredes, the design firm Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos is a team that is passionate about creating private universes that contains the clients’ desires as well as the architects’ pursuit. They aim to create architecture that is clean and minimalistic, functional and geometric with varying expressions which preserves the uniqueness of their Mexican individuality. Working in sync with their clients, they aspire to create designs inspired by proportions, space, vegetation, form and color, but mainly by life.
The design process started with the basic requirements of the project; the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the connection of the spaces with each other. The architect could understand and interpret the client’s vision which was supported with various photos and details of projects that she had liked from different magazines. Based on these interpretations, the first step in the design development was to break with the scheme that the other houses in the neighborhood had already demarcated.
The architect realized the limits of the 135 sq.m plot size earlier while working on the project drawings and came to the conclusion that a grandiose house wanted by the client would be difficult to achieve. In order to get the most of the spaces through visual perception, a stepped plan was adopted. Thus, the chance of the surrounding houses to overshadow this one in terms of size was eliminated.
The architectural scenario in the traditional, gated community of Jalisco follows the compulsive, repetitive pattern of sloping roofs, tiles and pastel colors. In the process of adhering to this archetype, the design team found themselves constricted in terms of preserving the transparency that was intended in the beginning. To maintain the look of a conventional Mexican household, different options of sloping roofs and finials had to be explored. However, these traditional design elements were fashioned in the design in a way that they were only apparent to the viewers, making them relate to the house through them. Once these elements were achieved, the design could be crafted so as to transform them into enigmatic and minimal forms to the viewer.
The stepped plan allowed the architect to achieve an array of gardens, which led to the house being acclimated to these semi-interior gardens. This phenomenon led the architect to decide that the house was going to turn over itself, with the structure moving around the White brick screen wall. This wall segregates the private spaces from the public areas, but not completely as the thin groove in it allows the guest to catch a glimpse of the vivacity inside the screen wall.
The Living room is designed as a double height space to enhance the feeling of comfort within the house, while the parapets were stopped at a high level to mislead the viewer. As one observes from the living room, the roof separates from the wall, allowing the light to enter the interior spaces. Unexpectedly, it merges with the pergola and opens steadily as the double height increases.
The pergola then blends with the purple color of the roof and in conjunction with the light entering the space, it looks slightly slopped. It also acts as a screen for the double height which during the night gets lit on the outside through a slender opening. This indirect lighting makes the house arise out of the dark, with the light hitting the plants which then bounces off the white walls, starting a metamorphosis that resembles a kaleidoscope which emphasizes the presence of the house, accentuated further by a colorful backdrop.
-Tanvi Naik, Volume Zero.