two concrete blocks reaching for the Mexican horizon

‘casa becker’: matching topography with architecture

Architect Jaime Juárez harmonizes topography with architecture in his latest project ‘Casa Becker’. Nestled in a golf club in the Mexican city of Morelia, this single family home House seemingly emerges from the site’s terrain as two blocks from specific volumes placed on a stone foundation, each with a panoramic view of the golf course and the valley beyond.

Juárez oriented the blocks’in such a way that they are almost imperceptible from the entrance and rise subtly to the northwest, which is the privileged view of the place. These two elements are clean blocks in their design and construction, which were left uncovered, creating a balance between solidity and purity – thanks in large part to the sincerity of the materials.’

Essentially, the house is distinguished by a rationalistic aesthetic and a striking horizontality in relation to the walls and windows. These elements are planted in a linear form, subtly integrated into the landscape and contrasting with the surrounding vegetation. In addition, the architect ensured that each resident was given a special place in ‘Casa Becker’, forming a family of five together. ‘We created different spaces related to the users, such as a small garden, a teaching studio, a workshop for scale model airplanes and a private terrace for children.’ he is writing.

all images © Cesar Belio

find a balance between coexistence and intimacy

When drawing up the interior program, Juárez developed the structure on one level, with clearly defined areas that interact through a series of interior gardens. These areas of dense vegetation regulate the temperature inside while exuding natural finishes that complement the austerity of the concrete and the warmth of the wood, achieving an atmospheric balance.

Our proposal is defined by corridors and gardens that users discover as if it were a gallery, but with the essence of a house. One of these inner corridors is the one that separates the intimate space from the social space. This particular route has a play of textures and natural elements, which become protagonists of the project and manage to be a visual finish where different spaces converge,’ adds the architect.

becker house 4
‘Casa Becker’ is defined by two concrete volumes separated by an external staircase

In addition, the core of the house is defined by a linear, open kitchen that gently connects to the gardens, terraces, living room and guest house. Elements and materials were used here that contrast with the concrete palette: wooden cabinets and two black service blocks that exude a sculptural quality. The resulting ambiance evokes a space for living together without denying residents their intimacy.

One block houses the family room, a contemplative and permanent place born as a ‘wing’ of the kitchen, coexisting naturally as the day progresses. This multifunctional place is protected by a wooden latticework that reduces solar ingress in its southern orientation, while at the same time isolating it from the rest of the house to give it privacy. The guest area, meanwhile, opens out onto the landscape thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, offering spectacular views while inviting the outdoors in.

becker house 5
corridors and inner gardens connect the different spaces

The second concrete volume houses the private spaces that communicate with the rest of the house through a corridor surrounded by a garden and a black flagstone wall. More so, the master bedroom is connected to the outdoor landscape through a terrace that extends the concrete walls and frames panoramic vistas; the combination of wood and concrete recalls the spirit of the social areas and creates a calming and meditative environment. The children’s rooms, on the other hand, consist of a block separated by a wooden wall. ‘Each bedroom is connected by a central patio that becomes a recreational and playful space, where a tree native to the region serves as a visual finishing touch,’ concludes Jaime Juárez.

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