The Forest House by Espacio EMA

Architects: Espacio EMA
Location: Mazamitla, Jalisco, Mexico
Year: 2010
Photos: Patricia Hernández
Description:

The house is situated in the mountains of Mazamitla, 120 kilometers (75 miles) far from Guadalajara (Mexico), in a steeply inclining landscape encompassed by a thick pine backwoods.

The-Forest-House-01Rocks, soil, downpour, pines, haze … the magnificence of the scene and the characteristic components in the site are the reason and steady motivation for the task.

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The house turns out from the stones found in the site, which shape the containing dividers and the storm cellar of the house.

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The crossing point of two volumes at distinctive statures produces a way in the scene, which benefits as much as possible from the regular incline and underlines the all encompassing perspective.

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The entrance to the house is sandwiched between the stones of the mountain and a wall with a direct view from inside the house to the same stonewall. This access corridor hidden and closed between artificial and natural elements provides some drama upon entering the house.

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From this corner you enter the closed space generated by the union of the two main volumes. This is a double-height space corresponding to a cube of 7 meters (23 feet) side, which provides wide views to the landscape. So the contrast is emphasized: the threshold turns into limit and, at the same time, connection between these so dramatically different scenarios.

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All the other areas of the house are accessible from this double-height space. On the same floor, there are three of the five bedrooms connected by a corridor characterized by a large elongated window that frames the stones of the site, thus strengthening the dialogue with the landscape. On the upper floor, connected by a bridge-walkway, are the other two rooms: the grandparents’ (homeowners) and their grandchildren’s. On the lower level, the volume that contains the living area hides below the main entrance and comes out from the ground in a protagonist way meeting the foliage of the pines. This rectangular wooden “box” reminiscent of the “tree house” frames from above the wooded landscape that surrounds it.

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