A Mirrored Mexican Home Hides Among a Lush Forest

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Covered in mirrored glass that’s transparent when viewed from within, the façade of this Mexican forest retreat reflects the color, light, and movements of its natural surroundings.

Located on a lush woodland hillside of Monterrey, Mexico, this reflective retreat—also known as Los Terrenos, meaning The Terrains—has been designed by Mexico City–based architect Tatiana Bilbao, using rammed earth, terracotta clay bricks, and mirrored glass.

The larger volume has a peaked roof and a mirrored facade, allowing the home to hide among the surrounding forest.

The larger volume has a peaked roof and a mirrored facade, allowing the home to hide among the surrounding forest.

The dwelling is comprised of two completed volumes positioned diagonally around a curvilinear pool. The larger rectangular volume has an asymmetrical peaked roof, along with exterior walls clad in mirrored glass that reflect the verdant terrain around it. 

The living lounge, dining area, and kitchen are located within the larger of the two volumes.

The living lounge, dining area, and kitchen are located within the larger of the two volumes.

"The mirrored glass envelope simultaneously reflects and contains the lush surrounding," says Bilbao. 

The raised bed platform creates an interesting stepped topography in the bedroom.

The raised bed platform creates an interesting stepped topography in the bedroom.

This larger volume contains the social zones—a simply furnished kitchen, dining area, and living room. Sections of the interior walls here are clad in plywood sheathing for privacy. 

The natural landscape becomes part of the architecture of Los Terrenos.

The natural landscape becomes part of the architecture of Los Terrenos.

On the other side of the rectangular volume is a floor-to-ceiling ceramic latticework screen that’s made of the same terracotta bricks as the terrace. In the day, the light and shadow play created by this screen mimics the dappled sunlight streaming through tree canopies. 

In the evening, the facade darkens as the sun sets.

In the evening, the facade darkens as the sun sets.

From the living lounge, massive hinged doors swing open to connect the interior with the shady terrace. 

The back wall, as well as part of the roof, is fitted with plywood sheathing.

The back wall, as well as part of the roof, is fitted with plywood sheathing.

The second volume has been constructed of clay and rammed-earth bricks, and houses an L-shaped floor plan. Here, two bedrooms are oriented in different directions so that each room frames a different view. 

The door to the social zones swings open to connect to the outdoor terrace.

The door to the social zones swings open to connect to the outdoor terrace.

The beds are raised on timber platforms with storage under the stairs to create an interesting stepped topography within each room. 

The smaller volume houses the two bedrooms.

The smaller volume houses the two bedrooms.

Each bedroom has a retractable glass partition fitted on one of the walls, allowing the interiors to be open to take in the stunning tree views. 

Rammed earth, brick, and wood give the bedroom a rustic, minimalist look.

Rammed earth, brick, and wood give the bedroom a rustic, minimalist look.

The terracotta latticework structure is used for the walls of the bathroom.

The terracotta latticework structure is used for the walls of the bathroom.

A raised platform allows for storage underneath the stairs.

A raised platform allows for storage underneath the stairs.

A peek at one of the bedrooms that looks out to the tree tops.

A peek at one of the bedrooms that looks out to the tree tops.

The site plan.

The site plan.

The floor plan for the larger volume.

The floor plan for the larger volume.

The floor plan for the smaller L-shaped volume.

The floor plan for the smaller L-shaped volume.


Project Credits: 

 Architecture and interior design: Tatiana Bilbao Estudio

Builder: PARALELO

Structural engineering: Ing. Javier Ribe

Photo stylist: Emma Archer 

Photography: Rory Gardiner