The house in the stone

The (ambitious) objective of Luis Arturo Garcia, soul and founder of Studio EDAA, an acronym which stands for Estrategias para el Desarollo de Arquitectura (strategies for the development of architecture), clearly results from  the name of the studio itself: discovering and suggesting a possible research path for contemporary architecture.

In the case of the Maztitla house, that we publish in these pages, this means providing a new interpretation of dwelling: no more a simple shelter from Nature, but a space merging into it. We are 90 kilometres to the south of Mexico City, in the province of Morelos, close to El Tepoztlàn National Park, the red stone mountain (rich in copper) that on its top preserves the remains of an ancient temple, a famous tourist destination.

A strong, wild, primordial landscape that becomes the pivotal point for all the architectural choices of the house, in a continuous dialogue with Nature. The designer explained: “The  Meztitla House is first of all an architectural project in a natural scenario: it shows the importance of relax and leisure time, of the tropical climate, of Nature’s scents, of the bright sunlight, of the terracing works that date back to 500 years ago and of the rocks of El Tepozteco mountain”.

The house thus “surrenders” to the landscape, but not to  camouflage solutions: architecture merges into Nature (rock is the distinctive feature of the project) in a well-balanced symbiotic relationship that, with great interpretative originality, abolishes any border between the inside and the outside.

Built in rough stone (zero kilometre environmental friendly solution), the volume is open and easy to access: strangely enough, you cannot go from one room to another without going outside, so that outdoor areas become an integral part of the house layout.

There are four functional areas: a social area with sitting-room, dining-room, open kitchen and porch; a night area with two main bedrooms and two guest rooms, that can all be accessed from the courtyard; a studio, on the second floor, with entrance from the roof terrace.

The relationship is symbiotic also between the designer and the (enlightened) customers who wanted to associate their relaxing moments to the magic of Nature. For this choice the landlady, Lilia Bazàn, philanthropist and leading Mexican entrepreneur, was awarded an international prize for architecture customers (the Dedalo Minosse International Prize for Commissioning a building – OCCAM under 40).

“When we finished our home”, declared Lilia Bazàn at the awarding ceremony last June, “my husband and I decided that the best place of the house was not inside but outside it, in any place among trees, where we could watch our house hidden in Nature …”.

Photos Yoshihiro Koitani – Article Laura Ragazzola