This Mexico City Home Features a Garden at Every Level
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This Mexico City Home Features a Garden at Every Level

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By Ethan Tucker
A terraced layout and massive windows bring nature into every room of this concrete house.

When clients approached Mexico City–based architecture firm Estudio MMX, they had a deceptively simple request: a 1,000-square-meter garden on a 1,000-square-meter plot in a neighborhood called Lomas de Chapultepec, west of Mexico City. The problem, of course, was that in addition to a 1,000-square-meter garden, they also wanted a house. Estudio MMX’s solution was to use large terraces to create a garden in three dimensions that connects with the house at every possible opportunity.

Located outside of Mexico City, CBC House is built for outdoor living. It has several patios and terraces, as well as quiet spaces to experience the home’s verdant garden.

"Our strategy," says Diego Ricalde, one of four partners at Estudio MMX, "was to imagine the garden as an interconnected system of open spaces that runs throughout the house." The resulting form is an L shape in the corner of the property. Above the public areas of the home are two platforms that support large, planted terraces. The layout connects the upper levels of the house to the garden, and softens the building’s cubic concrete aesthetic.

Plantings cover the terraces and flat roof of CBC House, creating space to entertain in the main area of the garden.

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The home’s entrance at night.

The multilevel garden also allows the owners to have both a garden for entertaining, and a garden full of plants. By moving the heavier shrubs, bushes, and flowering plants to the terraces on the second floor and against the property’s boundary, Estudio MMX was able to make room for a spacious outdoor living area, complete with stylish modern outdoor furnishings in the center of the property.

Glass walls and large windows create an airy interior that feels connected to the outside. 

A unique yellow-tinted concrete makes the house’s geometric form pop, even though it’s heavily laden with greenery. Estudio MMX values poured concrete for the honesty of its form, and the studio frequently uses the material in their designs. "Concrete allows architecture to express, without other added surfaces, its core structure and geometry," Ricalde tells Dwell.

The house’s concrete construction allows its geometry to shine. 

Because of its spartan, cement construction and large and plentiful window and door openings, the house feels particularly airy on the inside. Windows frame distant views of the city, as well as the house’s immediate lush surroundings, but moments of closeness and intimacy also abound inside. According to Ricalde, the project is designed so that the clients can enjoy change in scale, height, and light as they walk through the home and the site.

A colored compound mixed into the cement gives the home a yellow color that lends a much warmer feeling than gray concrete.

Ever present, no matter where you are in the home, is the garden—it’s a house insistent upon outdoor living. Glass curtain walls on the first floor anchor the interior living room to its outdoor twin, while upstairs in the bedrooms, large windows provide framed views of the elevated garden.

Estudio MMX was founded in 2010 by Ricalde, along with partners Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Río, and Emmanuel Ramírez.

A multilevel design means that the outside is never far away in CBC House.

More from Estudio MMX:

This Mexican Lake House Is All About the Views

This House Outside of Mexico City Was Designed Around its Garden 

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Estudio MMX

Builder/General Contractor: Ángel Olavarrieta

Structural/Civil Engineer: Alejandro Flores

Landscape Design: Entorno Taller de Paisaje

Lighting Design: Luz en Arquitectura

Interior Design: Adriana Olmedo/Taller de Arquitectura de Interiores

Cabinetry Design: Estudio MMX

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