The site is an old garden with big trees and a flat-roof house built in the 50´s. The client asked to reclaim the structure of this cold, humid, dark house and open to the garden. The Project reclaimed the original structure by revealing what was underneath layers of materials after years of alterations. What was left was the essence of the structure: 21 cms-thick brick walls and concrete slabs.
3 strategies where applied:
1) Make the house adapt to site by understanding its bioclimatic conditions: It was opened to breezes, slab slopes where modified to catch storm water, and openings in the slabs where made to catch the sun´s heat and light so thermal mass could work.
2) In order to make a dialogue between materials of the existing vs. the new, 3 materials where used: mixing brick powder from the demolished walls with resins and mortar unified Brick in its original 21 cms-masonry. A new material, COR-TEN Steel, was used for additions, canopies and a wall, which accompanies the visitor from the entrance to the main hall. Carpentry and wooden features where reclaimed from demolition, also timber beams where reclaimed from a demolished restaurant near by and used for shading the terrace and other additions.
3) The old house was adapted to receive the new brief, which includes: a GYM, 3 bathrooms, dressing room, a pool, and service areas. Pipelines and services where modified with new technology featuring solar panels for water heating, variable velocity devices for pumping water, radiant floors for heating and solar PV panels.
The result of these strategies is a group of brick volumes resting in the garden as rocks, receiving the silhouettes of the trees. The spaces between these volumes are transparent, allowing different views of the garden, which gives sensations of serenity within the chaos of Mexico City.