Chain + Siman - La Casa de la Abuela, a pivoting point for a multi-generational, close-knitted family
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La Casa de la Abuela, a pivoting point for a multi-generational, close-knitted family

Chain + Siman

Villa  /  Completed
Chain + Siman

Nestled within reach of Lake Valle de Bravo, La Casa de la Abuela is a year-round retreat that draws inspiration from the peaceful setting that surrounds it to create a warm, elegant home. The name translates to “Grandma’s House”, for this residence is a pivoting point for a multi-generational close knitted family. This project was intended to sprout from the environment that surrounds it as just that: a huge contrast from the agitated pace the clients lived in. While the house would be permanently inhabited, it was also expected to become a pivoting point for a the family, which would mean it no longer was just a house: the space was immediately thought of as the nucleus of coexistence.

It was necessary to carry out a soil compaction process, due to the site being so close to the lake. To obtain the desired spans and achieve a solid grip on such loose grounds, we chose a monolithic reinforced concrete structure for the entire project. The house is almost surrounded by vegetation, creating a visual boundary that extends the perception of space while providing privacy. The green, open spaces mixed with the fresh air of the lake create a perfectly balanced ambience of relaxation. The house has a discreet presence on the landscape, striking a balance between the well-tended gardens and the imposing stone buildings.

Solar energy batteries were installed to counteract voltage variations and power outages, common in Valle de Bravo due to the weather, to avoid burning the gas required for an emergency plant. Reducing CO2 emissions into the environment is an important goal of the project, so even the heat pump that keeps the swimming lane at a comfortable temperature is powered by clean solar energy. Casa de la Abuela maintains a considerable percentage of energy independence, reducing both its carbon footprint and the utility bills of its inhabitants. In addition, a rainwater catchment system runs through the stone walls for collection and use.

This project was designed with the dynamics of a master suite in mind: everything revolves around the main bedroom. The interconnected rooms allow the client to pass through several spaces with just a few steps. In order to create the same architectural language throughout the project, wooden aesthetic was maximized. The priority was to create wide, double-height spaces that would accentuate the connection with the exterior through views of the lake. The house was intentionally oriented towards the west so that the sunset could be enjoyed from both the master bedroom and the terrace. Special attention was given to the lighting design. The conceptualization was approached as though the project were a museum. The diffused light among the three main rooms helped accentuate the warm tones of the wood, creating a cozy and inviting ambience. The resulting composition gives the impression of a nearly stage-like space, producing a blend of functional and accent lighting. The exterior walls of the three volumes were covered with white handcrafted brick locally produced, and whose measurements served as the basis for the design's proportion. Two of the volumes, set parallel to each other, bear gabled roofs with flat black tiles. In the interior, Austrian-engineered wood overlays the floors, walls, and ceilings. The project was designed to be completed over a period of ten months. Due to the pandemic, this had to be adjusted; however, the project was completed in eleven months.

The project materials were employed to create spaces with a contemporary architectural and interior design through a scenographical use of light and color, a warm and cozy atmosphere and an atemporal scene that aims to invite exploration and discovery of the easy-going flow of the rooms in a place that will stand for generations. Special attention was given to the lighting design. We approached its conceptualization as though the project were a museum.


 Valle de Bravo
 Residential, Weekend Home
 660 mq
 Renatta Chain and Lina Siman
 Al Chávez
 Chain + Siman
 Calculo y Diseño Estructural
 Rafael Gamo


Chain + Siman is an architecture and interior design firm based in Mexico City and founded in 2016, with previous years of individual experience in Mexico and the United States. It is led by Renatta Chain and Lina Siman.

The idea behind the firm has to do with simplicity: the use of clean lines, natural palettes and a close dialogue between light, space and textures. The concept of each project is based on a systematic organization of the design elements, which reveal their physical characteristics and achieve a balance between luxury, aesthetics and functionality.

They have designed residential, hospitality, retail and corporate projects. In each one of them, the synergy between constant dedication, passion for every design detail, customer service and the search for solutions, make up the pillars of each project. Its execution also meets the cultural, functional and operational needs of each one.

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