Taller ADG in collaboration with Micaela de Bernardi - Izar Houses, twin villas set within a forest
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Izar Houses, twin villas set within a forest

Taller ADG in collaboration with Micaela de Bernardi

Villa  /  Completed
Taller ADG in collaboration with Micaela de Bernardi

Twin houses with an area of 1,105 sqmt each set within a forest, the materials, finishes and functional design achieve harmony with nature. The houses have a private area of 600 sqmt in a lower level and a living area of 400 sqmt. In the upper and access levels the construction on a stepped slope is advantageous in terms of views of the lake from upper floors. The skin of the houses is made of wooden tiles that integrate into the landscape. A pair of two-story houses that are exceptionally efficient in terms of energy, due to the use of natural light as well as rainfall. They are located on a couple of adjacent lots that are also very steep, which is ideal for achieving the best views of the Valle de Bravo lake from the top floors. The materials used in construction as well as in finishes, along with a functional design, make sure the project is in perfect harmony with nature. Green roofing, local stone, and the façade lattice made out of specially-treated wooden slats all contribute to the houses full integration into the landscape. Entry to the complex occurs through an access plaza, with bodies of water and vegetation that gives continuity with the natural environment. Once inside, private areas take up the lower floor, spread over 600 m2, while more public, social areas take up the upper floor, spread over 400 m2. A skylight made out of locally-sourced stone and vegetation connects both stories. Users gain access through a lobby that acts as a distributing space into the main living room, service kitchen and the staircase that leads to the lower, more private area. The main living room is a very generous space, and contains a black steel fireplace that contrasts with the oak employed on floors, walls and ceilings. Next to it we find the dining room and a kitchen for special events. Finally, there is a covered terrace, with space for secondary, open living and dining rooms, as well as a support bar with a grill. Next is a fully open terrace with a swimming lane. All of these spaces a have a view of the woods and lake. This area given support by a service area with a kitchen and area for storage. On the lower level we first reach a private but social space that includes a lobby, a family room and a play area. A hallway that surrounds the skylight leads to a gym as well as the bedrooms. The main bedroom has a bathroom, dressing room and studio. There are two additional rooms with a loft, a bathroom and a dressing room, and three more with a bathroom and dressing room. On the lots’ lower sections there is a common area with terraces, a swimming pool, a gym, kitchen with a pizza oven, dressing rooms and a small spa. These houses together form a biological corridor. The service and parking areas, as well as children’s areas, edible forest and fireplace are all in adjacent areas within their respective plots. On the northern section of the complex we placed a social area common to both houses. By placing the houses in a relatively low section of the plot, this common area is completely independent of the houses. This space, surrounded by forest, contains swimming pools, a fire pit, grills, pizza ovens, a spa, gyms and dressing rooms. One of the greatest challenges this project presented us with was responding to every need contained in the client’s architectural program while dealing with such a steep, hilly plot of land. This, in turn, brought along another two difficulties. The first was achieving good lighting in every space. As a solution to this problem we created skylights that crossed both stories of the house, taking the fullest advantage of natural light and achieving great energy efficiency, surpassing tenfold the ideal goal of 150 lux per day. The second one was making sure the house was properly integrated into its natural surroundings. This was achieved with a functional design, the implementation of roof gardens, using locally-sourced stone for materials and finishes, as well as the specially-treated wooden slats used for the exterior lattice. All of these elements, put together, ensure that the house exists in perfect harmony with the nature that surrounds it. We took advantage of the land conditions (with all its nooks and crannies) by creating wetlands and zones for forest recreation, promoting local species and strengthening the ecosystem, which in turn leads to healthier interspecies competition and coexistence. This is true for all life-forms in the area, from fungi to the largest trees. Every area the client asked for was contained in the plot, in a very subtle, non- invasive manner, and every space we designed has a view of the Valle de Bravo lake. Biological corridors were generated, as well as paths that are suited for play, an edible forest, bodies of water and children’s playgrounds. The access and façade walls are concrete, covered in the regional ‘hill’ rock that is set with mortar and cement/sand, with a cement grout that allows the rock to remain visible. Concrete across the façade is polished in a ‘rustic’ finish. Wooden roof tiles of Canadian cedar with CCA treatment are unbranded, but the provider is Oregon, USA and is called WOLF CREEK CEDAR, INC. The constructive system is based on poured concrete footings, concrete retaining walls, and intermediate brick walls, confined with chains, as well as steel reinforced joints in the first floor. The upper floor structure is made of wooden, treated pine frames, anchored to structural plates and anchoring screws, completely covered in wood and Canadian wood shingles, duly protected and acoustically sealed. The roofing is made of pinewood, covered with engineered wood, as chosen from a sample for the project.


 Valle de Bravo
 Mexico State
 6570 mq
 Taller ADG in collaboration with Micaela De Bernardi
 Alonso de Garay and Micaela De Bernardi
 Project: Rafael Gamo and Onnis Luque . Model: Jaime Navarro


Architectural firm focussed on the development of residential architectural projects, as well as renovating buildings in historic areas of Mexico City.

In recent years, Taller ADG has participated in the design and development of projects in a wide variety of scales and typologies: from stadiums and master plans, to corporate buildings, residential, commercial and office interiors across Mexico, the United States and Spain.

Taller ADG have set themselves apart by their particular interest in projects with an added social value. As such, they have teamed up with INFONAVIT (Mexico’s housing institute) in the development of public space and affordable housing.

Further collaborations include large-scale reconstruction projects in a number of communities damaged by the earthquakes of 2017, rebuilding destroyed housing in Ocuilan, State of Mexico and San Mateo del Mar in Oaxaca. Also, the new Center for the Documentation of Son Jarocho in Jaltipan, Veracruz.



#Finalist #Mexico  #Valle de Bravo  #Taller ADG in collaboration with Micaela de Bernardi 

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