Designed by Francisco Pardo Arquitecto, Casa Aguacates is a brutalist and bucolic buen retiro that, covered with avocado plants, is camouflaged in the Mexican forest

A rough yet welcoming villa, set in the rural lake area of ​​the Valle del Bravo, a mere two hours from Mexico City. A refuge covered by avocado trees, hidden from view - both from the ground and from the sky - but that does not hide the panoramic view. A mimetic house, surrounded by wild nature but protecting a home garden.

Designed to generate minimal environmental impact from the Mexican studio Francisco Pardo Arquitecto, Casa Aguacates - Avocado House is the buen retiro where a young couple and their child spends their weekends to escape the bustle of urban life.

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An avocado field burythe house but not the view

The luxuriant three-hectare site, nestled in a valley between the mountains that offers a pleasant climate all year round, is covered by an avocado field that slopes down into a dense forest and glen. “The main goal was to guarantee a privileged view of the forest, but at the same time, the client also wanted to leave the avocado field intact, which inspired us to literally bury the house” explains Francisco Pardo, founder of the firm.

Preserve nature. And the view from the sky

The whole concept of the house extended on 246 internal square meters - 442 total revolves around the intention to preserve the natural elements and generate minimum impact on the surroundings. As a result, avocado trees sprout above the concealed and unassuming structure, which overlooks the treetops of the forest. As keen hang gliders, the couple had a special interest in what they deemed the 'fifth façade' - the view from the sky - which is designed as meticulously as its counterparts, to help the house naturally blend into the context.

Optimal (natural) thermal conditions

This solution also provides optimal internal thermal conditions, in an area affected by considerable temperature variation between night and day, thanks to the earth above the roof that keeps the house at a constantly mild temperature.

A large underground container in raw concrete

Inside, the sunken volume unfolds as a large exposed concrete container with a simple open layout, where the limited number of partition walls are low and isolated from the roof in order to create a continuous concrete ceiling running through the whole plan.

The open configuration of spaces

A big open space gives direct access to a terrace with a hot tub facing the forest, and features a kitchen, dining room, and living room, with few custom designed elements such as the kitchen island and the impressive black metal fireplace punctuating the space. A master bedroom, the kid’s bedroom, two additional guest rooms and a studio are accommodated around this space, completing the plan.

Pristine green vs tame green

If the front of the house is underground, the back area was pierced to become an interior patio, providing a second source of sunlight and ventilation. The house thus overlooks uncontaminated greenery on one side, and a 'domesticated' landscape on the other. Thus, the project represents a subtle expression of architecture’s ability to control and coexist in creative tension with its natural surroundings.

Natural materials and raw textures

A simple tone and texture palette creates an overall natural feel, while the material selection contributes to the minimal aesthetic and ensures very low maintenance considering the property’s function as a weekend home.

Recycling of building materials

The bare concrete structure combines with walls coated in Chukum, a natural stucco from the Yucatan region, and partitions made of pine wood recycled from the falsework of the construction process. An equally sustainably-sourced cabin serves as a storage room or lookout point, boasting panoramic views of the surroundings, built above the house in leftover wood from the casting.

Wild nature vs domestic nature

Naturally adapting to the site, Casa Aguacates by Francisco Pardo is the vivid expression of the symbiosis between architecture and nature, wildness and domesticity.