Mexico | 2019
Elias Rizo Arquitectos
Casa BS was built upon a relatively flat, treeless area. The landscape surrounding the house appears alien; colored in ochres and sepias, and sprinkled with boulders and patches of high grasses. The building rests on a hill overlooking a ravine which descends to a small lake, and offers uncanny views of a vast plain and the mountains beyond. At first glance, the house appears as a horizontal stone-clad volume half buried in the ground. Our goal was to obstruct the views of the land as little as possible, hence the building’s discreet disposition as it conforms to the terrain. The front façade, which faces north, displays a rather solid character. It is only partially visible behind a stone retaining wall which is cut at the center by a wide stair that provides access to the property. The steps land on an open passageway which runs between the house and the retaining wall as it steps down in response to the changes in topography. This open space is flanked by a row of trees that will conceal the architecture when fully grown. The rear façade of the house consists almost entirely of operable full height windows that allow for great views and increased thermal comfort inside the building. The house stands stealthily in its environment and displays an almost archeological character next to the boulders that lie in the surrounding fields. The project uses regional materials and is clad almost entirely with dry stacked flagstone. The parotta millwork, stone floors and the exposed structural steel elements complete the house’s material palette. The volume containing the master bedroom is clad with a steel sheet skin and gives off a tarnished gloss which sets it apart from the opaque, rugged nature of the rest of the house.
Ostraca Architecture and Interiors