This unique hybrid home in Mexico was designed for an architect by his student.
In Chihuahua City, Mexico, architect Rodrigo Seáñez Quevedo of LABorstudio held his first professional offices in an original 1909 building owned by his former professor. Several years later, the owners employed Quevedo and his team to add onto the home in a cohesive way, changing the program from office to residential. During the transformation, great care was taken to preserve the historic structure and reuse existing materials where possible. Notably, clay tiles from the old roof were added to the new balconies, wood formwork from the concrete was reused as wall covering, and uncovered limestone was reused on the patio and gardening floor. The end result is a creative, integrated mixture of old and new, both in materials and architectural plan.
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The early-20th-century structure is seen next to the 300 square meter modern addition. A garage and patio were added, as well as a balcony that would complement the proportions of those in the original building. According to Quevedo, the biggest challenge was to approach both structures with a “common language” and explore the idea that “preservation and modernity can coexist.”
Old and new architectural elements were unified with a vertical stair cube, a central design feature. The living room of the new building sits at the base of the staircase. The furniture choices throughout the home were a product of their native space; classic pieces were used in the original building, while contemporary items were favored in the new wing. Living room furnishings include two Niels Bendtsen yellow park lounge chairs, opposite two Marcelo Ligieri black leather York Lounge Chairs. A wine cellar is cleverly tucked under the staircase.
The home’s living room connects to the patio through sliding glass doors. Both social spaces, the living room and kitchen, have double high ceilings. These areas are divided by the granite kitchen bar, and are unified by the open patio.
The open and airy courtyard and dining area encourages outdoor living. A custom table made from Andiroba wood and Magis White Air armchairs complete the space.
In the old building, the painting studio is accessible from the patio. At the center of the space, a custom table is flanked by Eames shell chairs. Tom Dixon pendant lamps hang from rustic wood beams, and a Pablo Studio Lim360 table lamp sits atop a custom white cabinet.
New balconies were constructed to complement the scale of the adjacent openings. The second story balcony was conceptualized as an extension of the room to the street. It can be closed when privacy is required, but opened to the street or terrace for interaction with the natural surroundings. The metallic blinds create dynamic shadow patterns as the light changes throughout the day.
The family room, on the second story of the old building, is a place for gathering and relaxing. Behind the balcony doors, the room is accented by Modernica Case Study V-Leg daybed and BluDot ottomans and coffee table.
Suspended over the living room, the library bridge connects the second floor rooms of the house. The transitional space contains built-ins and desks where the owners and their three-year-old daughter can sit and read. The steel of the staircase is supported entirely by the adjacent concrete wall. A marriage of concrete, wood, and glass is used in the space, and the large windows let light in and offer a view of the roof garden.
All of the bedrooms, including the master, are incorporated into the program of the new house. The bedrooms are positioned on opposite sides of the second floor; one faces the street and one faces the backyard. The master bedroom bed is tucked into a concrete cube within the room.
The front elevation is seen at night. The old structure fits on a compact 130-square-foot lot, while the new building adds an extra 1,000 square feet. Adobe walls, wood beams, limestone facade, and earthen roof all make up the tactful blend of old and new.