Pockets of Greenery Punctuate This Dramatic Black House in Mexico City

Pockets of Greenery Punctuate This Dramatic Black House in Mexico City

By Anna Squier
Nature creeps into this clean-lined, matte-black home by way of outdoor terraces and courtyards.

In Southern Mexico City lies Jardines del Pedregal, an upscale neighborhood first developed by Luis Barragán in the 1940s. Originally intended to knit together city and landscape, it’s now populated by homes that veer toward the extravagant. Counteracting that is a matte-black residence by Pérez Palacios Arquitectos Asociados (PPAA) that takes cues from the surrounding environment to keep its occupants connected to nature.         

Encompassing 6,500 square feet, Lluvia is a two-story, matte black house with punched openings and wood accents. 

The home embraces its green surroundings with outdoor terraces, open living spaces, and large windows. 

The house is designed as a solid volume that incorporates subtractions along its main axis. The subtractions form small courtyards that break the geometric form while generating a visual and physical connection to nature. According to PPAA, the home can be thought of as "nature voids inside solid black geometry."

Upon entry, a wood door opens to reveal an enclosed courtyard filled with foliage. 

At the center of the home is a large courtyard which extends the full height of the home, providing a break in the simple form and plan. 

Windows provide framed views to the courtyards from both walkways and living spaces. 

Inspired by the volcanic stones found in Jardines del Pedregal, the architects took this physical element into account when choosing the material palette for the home. The architect states, "The volume of the house is dark to match the solidity of the material while also making the dialogue [between volume and environment] equal."

The matte-black texture and color, inspired by local volcanic stones, is a material known as Corev Mooth. 

From the plan arises the form of the home. Solid spaces provide shelter while courtyards introduce nature, allowing the homeowners to maintain a connection with nature.

The courtyards form a green path which links space to space while providing a visual and physical connection to the natural elements. 

The interior is light to create an intentional contrast between inside and out while also framing views of nature. Living spaces and sleeping quarters open to courtyards, embracing the climate and tropical breezes. 

A white, geometric stair is a bright contrast to the black exterior. 

Two-story interior spaces allow light and views to fall deeper into the living areas. A white oak wall further draws in natural elements while adding texture to the otherwise muted feel.

Public and service areas are located on the ground floor. Service areas include a six-car garage, two bathrooms, a utility room, and a laundry room. Public spaces include an open living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, and outdoor terrace that connect with the courtyards.

In contrast to the otherwise white and bright rooms, the kitchen resonates with the black exterior. Lacquered MDF cabinetry is sleek and seamless. 

White oak details add a touch of warmth to the black kitchen while stainless-steel stools, countertops, and appliances bring an industrial edge.

Located off the main living spaces, the outdoor terrace extends cooking, dining, and living outside.  

The outdoor terrace acts as a buffer between the backyard and the covered interior spaces, blurring the boundary between outside and in. 

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On the upper floor reside the private areas. A TV room, three bedrooms, plus a large master suite open to outdoor terraces above the treetops. 

The custom stair leads to the private quarters above, including three bedrooms, a large master suite, and an additional family room. 

Views of trees, foliage, and greenery can be found from any space within this home, linking the occupants to nature. 

This matte-black residence is more than a simple architectural form. It’s a geometry which expresses an affinity for nature—weather, textures, atmosphere—through both physical and visual connections that embrace the forested setting. 

At night, the punched openings allow the interior spaces to glow brightly, revealing the spaces and activities within. 

More by PPAA:

A Matte Black Home in Mexico City Opens Up to 360-Degree Forest Views

A Remote Holiday Home Celebrates Raw and Natural Materials in Mexico

Glass Walls and Wooden Screens Strike a Balance in This Mexican Home

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: PPAA / @perez_palacios_aa

Builder / General Contractor: PPAA Constructions

Structural Engineer: BVG

Civil Engineer: BVG

Landscape Design Company: PPAA

Lighting Design Company: PPAA

Interior Design: PPAA + Katherina Altazia

Cabinetry Design / Installation: Katherina Altazia


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