Black House, Mexico


With a magnificent view as the main feature of this retreat located on the hill of a small village some 150km from Mexico City, the house aims to live within the landscape under a canopy with as few interior elements as possible.

The house comprises a fireplace, a kitchen bar and a marble platform, 20m long, laid as a free floor plan for public areas and garage on top of a solid block that houses the rest of the features, namely services, three bedrooms and a family room.

The covered roof garden becomes the most important part of the house.

The most crowded area in which the family will spend most of the time is also the most ambiguous place of the house. One-half house, one-half terrace, protected from the exterior conditions when needed by means of 4m-tall sliding glass panels towards the landscape and a wall as high as the garage doors towards the street, detached from the concrete canopy to turn it into a fence more than a wall.

Exposed concrete canopy

The exposed concrete canopy emphasises views and deals with an anachronistic local code on context, which calls for typical construction elements and materials such as pitched roofs with Spanish tile, simply by flipping it.

"The house aims to live within the landscape under a canopy with as few interior elements as possible."

In this way, views and orientation of the house towards the south makes sense blocking sun in summer but not on winter.

The solid block is exposed concrete on the inside and marble on the outside just like the roof in order to reinforce the idea of a solid 3m-high platform with slots carefully located to glance through the surroundings from the bed, desk or the shower.

The rest of the site remains a natural slope and is therefore highly adaptive to vegetation, which frames the view and wraps a family vegetable garden.

Interior materials are used on the outside of the house and exterior materials come into the house. The half-and-half house promotes the blurring of limits between indoor and outdoor.