A Retreat in the Mountains of Central Mexico Sources 100% of Its Water From the Sky

Each of its three structures—a residence, artist’s studio, and bath house—features a catchment with a reservoir system that purifies harvested rainwater.

Project Details:

Location: Temascaltepec, Mexico

Architect: Robert Hutchison Architecture & JSa

General Contractor: Mic Mac Estructuras

Structural Engineer: Bykonen Carter Quinn

Mechanical Engineer: Taller AF

Landscape Architect: Helene Carlo

Wood Construction & Fabrication: MicMac Estructuras

Steel Construction & Fabrication: Rhometal

Water Systems Consultant: Miguel Nieto

Solar Systems Consultant: Teoatonalli

Kitchen Consultant: Piacere

Photography: Benedikt Fahlbusch, César Béjar, Jaime Navarro & Robert Hutchison

From the Architect: "This collection of small structures in the mountains two hours west of Mexico City incorporates permaculture principles to establish a holistic, integrated relationship between people and place. The retreat consists of a main residence, a detached art studio, and a bathhouse. Rain Harvest Home’s trio of buildings each collect rainwater to integrate with an above- and below-ground reservoir system that purifies and stores rainwater to supply 100% of the home’s water year-round.

"The main residence takes the form of a pavilion that allows for outdoor use year-round, with over two-thirds of the building footprint dedicated to covered exterior space. The nearby, stand-alone bathhouse inverts this relationship by orienting towards sky above and water below, and supports four bathing activities: hot bath, sauna, steam shower, and washroom. The rooms encircle a cold plunge pool at the center and open to the sky. All three of the structures share a tectonic vocabulary of  volcanic-rock clad foundations and vegetated roofs."


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