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Casa PN (2011) by ZD+A located in Mexico | The Hardt
Casa PN (2011) by ZD+A located in Mexico. The basic design methodology involves an essential challenge to any system of design. This is achieved primarily through a critical analysis of two aspects:
a) Site Analysis
b) Program Analysis
For analysis, I really mean questioning not only the extrinsic or apparent elements but also those intrinsic or intangible. For example: In the first floor we consider orientation, geometry, constraints, solar exposure, views, physical factors (climate temperature, noise) hours of operation, The program is not a list of needs, instead, we try to integrate both material needs as well as effective and cognitive needs. The basic question is how to integrate dynamic needs to a seemingly static exercise (a building). The solution is often uncertainty, understood as a scheduled failure. The site makes the program which in turn defines the site. From the general to the particular and back, inside out. This is a lot between party walls located in Lomas de Chapultepec in Mexico City. It is a virtually flat and regular site (13 of frontage x 25 of depth). The only view corresponds to the front facade (west orientation) into a wooded glen, as there are taller buildings on the three boundaries. North-south orientation on the short or cross axis.
The dimensions of the site (about 310 meters) are not typical of this area because it mostly consists of larger lots (1000 square meters). The construction respects the setback dictated by building regulations (5 meters setback on the front) and approaches the southern boundary for maximum sun exposure during the day. The design scheme raises two primary actions: intervening the topography, to generate a new “tabula rasa” where besides serving as a base it is also inhabited inside. On this new modified territory, two boxes or volumes are stacked where the negative space becomes as important as the positive space. Creating spaces like the living room on the ground floor and the gym on the first floor, through a bridge and rooftop terraces.
In turn, the interior spaces are also determined by programmed volumes (storage, work, etc). This system of organization responds to an analysis of the program where the functions are grouped by level, with the public area on the ground floor (living room, dining, service) the family area on the first level (living room, bedroom, gym, garden) and on the top floor the more private area (master bedroom, living room, terrace, dressing room and bathroom)
The street facade respects the required setback and also sets a dialogue with the typology of the neighborhood, which in order to work with an upward slope, often presents a masonry wall (volcanic rock) and vegetation on top. Thus continuity is achieved in the urban fringe. One element of design that was used is to achieve the depth of the site can be understood from different perspectives, both long and short sense. This allows for a large spatial extent (both inside and outside). To achieve the desired finish, to translate the natural features of the environment, we chose a brutalist concrete. To this end, we used formwork based on reused poles horizontally modulated every eight inches. This texture is very attractive when it is bathed in natural light during the day and artificial light at night, which includes flush lights on the lower floor. Another purpose of this finish is to get the first level to transmit its own topographical nature as if it were pre-existent and emanated naturally from the ground.
Different types and uses of wood
Firstly, we used American oak, inked and placed in panels hiding doors and modular boards, which in turn contrasts with a much coarser application of reused wood on the stairs, the larger interior volume than starts on the ground floor and extends to the first level. This element promotes visual communication between the two levels.
Photos by © Yoshihiro Koitani
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
- House in Hiro by Suppose Design Office
- Can Limona (2017) by Mesura
- Villa 1 by Powerhouse
- East House (2012) by Peter Rose + Partners
- Villa VH (2008) by Beel & Achtergael Architecten