Casa MM Casa presented an unusual challenge for us. Two brothers who owned a considerable stretch of land in Tapalpa approached us with the intention of building two separate houses. As we dug into the project’s needs we realized that both of our clients had similar needs and while they didn’t mind, and in fact preferred, that the houses share a common language, each one had to convey its own singular personality. The topography of the site imposed its own set of variables that resulted in further slight alterations in the design of each house.
A similar set of priorities was implemented in dimensioning spaces and establishing spatial relationships between functions. Access to both buildings became a primary concern in our design. Although the entry layout and sequences were mainly driven by function, the clients expressed a desire that entrance into the houses be conceived as an experience in its own right. We then proceeded to articulate the entry modules with their various spaces (mud room, garage, storage, and service quarters) around open courtyards that catch the eye and allow daylight in.
Both buildings are shaped by a need for flexible use of space, and a desire to connect with the outdoors. Throughout the houses one finds that a large extent of walls and windows are in fact operable partitions that can be hidden entirely from sight to connect adjacent spaces with kindred functions, or to expose the house to its surroundings. House A, which was built on the higher part of the property, maintains a more introvert disposition. Its floor plan displays a slight angularity that distinguishes it from House B, and all of its spaces are arranged around and open yard. Aside from the master bedroom, which stands off-axis and partially detached from the rest of the house, all dormitories contain a mezzanine level with additional beds.
House B shares the overall layout and spatial sequence of House A, but displays a strict, rectilinear floor plan which looks out beyond the property’s edge. Unlike House A, its dormitories are on a single level. The exposed steel structure, with its clean lines and its stark geometry, acts as a disciplined threedimensional contour, framing planes and volumes clad in raw texture, which in turn echo a direct relationship to the buildings’ natural setting.