Just one hour south of Mexico City, the town of Tepoztlán is located within a valley with a pleasant, temperate climate and nestled within three rock formations, including El Tepozteco. These geographic and climatic conditions produce constant and abundant vegetation; it brims with a diversity of flora, and shelters both mountain and subtropical species within the same space. With a population of a little more than 35,000 inhabitants, it is a quiet weekend escape for city dwellers and a peaceful retirement oasis.
The corner lot, boasting 1270 m2, is located within a gated community in a residential area. Its location provides a privileged view of El Tepozteco with orientation toward the north and an open sensation toward the west, east and south. Currently a weekend residence for both the couple and their children, in the future it will become a retirement home. The areas must therefore satisfy a wide range of uses and be strategically arranged so as not to interrupt or limit other activities. As a result, the programmatic boundaries generated at the perimeter by staple walls are blurred, allowing the inhabitants to periodically modify the space as the number of occupants and needs vary.
La Hacienda Jardín reflects on the typology of the weekend house and the specificities it requires in a given context by reinterpreting the concept of the hacienda. The architectural program questions the area’s predominant practice of first fencing off a property and then inserting a building and landscaping the rest. This project does the opposite; it becomes a roofed wall open to the elements that contains a garden of endemic vegetation in its center. With this intention, the home’s exterior is sober and serene, in silent respect for its environment, and it preserves its magic and mystery for those who enter within.
The materials create a direct dialogue with the site, the land, the climate and the landscape. The perimeter wall of Texcal volcanic stone contains and shelters all of the built spaces. The main structure uses Durango pine, which becomes the principal interior material used for the beams and poles; huanacaxtle wood is used in the latticework and finishes. The terracotta tile floors, tile roof and brick and chukum walls create a chromatic palette that responds with sensitivity to the specific use of each area.
Constituted by these two coordinating elements, the central courtyard and peripheral volume, the design displays the persistent connection between them. The distribution of the perimeter wall and the definition of the layout on the ground plan unfold the walls in the form of staples and lattices that produce a play of light and shadow. Their disconnection from the roof produces a sense of lightness, and the pergolas bathe the area with homogeneous interior light. The internal paths evoke different sensory experiences depending on the chosen direction
La Hacienda Jardín offers a classic Mexican space, reinterpreted in a contemporary role that combines form and function in a contextual dialogue. The house manifests the posture that is taken toward the act of dwelling. In an area where cell phone service is very low, electricity is intermittent and water is scarce during the dry season, the project emphasizes and fosters the accessibility of what has always been there; the mountain, nature and calm, experienced through its landscapes, layout, materials, programmatic boundaries and typology.