AT House is defined by the repetition of a series of concrete walls, which modulate the interior spaces, aligned on a single axis, the architecture grows from the bedrock, with concrete planes holding the roof slabs and sun covers, creating a fragmented-light play.
The house is located on the highest point of the hill, it gazes mainly inward, to avoid the neighboring street, and a series of greenery filters views of the Oaxtepec Valley, the fields and the sky. The roof slab is slightly slanted back, so there is more air for the main spaces and openings for the views, and the inside corridor is located north, on the lower ceiling-height, leading the way to each room, with greenery and northern light, and openings on each end of the corridor.
Cast concrete is kept apparent, rough with the wood form visible, the masonry walls was recovered from the excavation, used to create privacy between neighbors, topped with greenery. All the concrete, stone and woodworking is designed to a 1 foot module.
The garden was designed with local sourced plants, succulents for low water requirement landscaping, and all other irrigation is done with recycled wastewater, with a biological secondary treatment, without chemical additives.
Water and solar management was part of the design of the house, south-facing facade allows for a full-day solar irradiation for the pool, vents on both sides of the house, and concrete aileron that blocks direct-sunlight into the house, help lower heat gain and air conditioning needs.
The Rooftop is a clean, non-hydrocarbon releasing surface, ideal for rainwater harvesting. Rain collected on the 220 m2 surface is collected through 2 pluvia outlets, a cast-in-concrete siphonic piping and sent to a rainwater filter and first flush, this separates the most polluted rain from the rest, which is the collected in a 4,000 gallon rainwater tank. Once it starts to accumulate, a 20 gpm potabilization system turns it into clean potable water and stores it in the main water cistern. Oaxtepec records and average of 37.5 in of rainfall per year.
Once the potable water is used in household services, the sanitary drainage collects it towards the house’s waste-water treatment plant, which turns it into clean treated water and stores it in a separate tank, used for irrigation and non-potable water need, if this tank overflows it gets infiltrated into the ground. The house does not discharge to the municipal drainage.
Potable water is heated with solar-thermal equipment, and the pool is maintained with a salt based disinfectant.
Energy-Wise, we installed 15 PV panels, with room for 30 more, either solar-thermal or PV, and runs 100% of its power needs on renewable energy. The generated power is measured with the local utility with a bidirectional power meter, with a mobile monitoring app making it easy to keep records and energy usage.
By means of user friendly, renewable and affordable technologies, AT House reduces its power, energy and material requirements to offer a comfortable, cheap to run and beautiful house, in contact with nature and the elements.