by Jincy IypeSep 01, 2022
When it comes to residential design, there are several factors that architects and designers are perpetually accommodating for – inclusion of natural light and living flora, minimum circulatory routes with continuous visual pathways, enhanced ventilation, and usage of natural materials, to name a few. Barring these, how can a dwelling's spatial language and architectural aesthetic be experimented with, in a way that is imaginative, stimulating and innovative (but not jarringly so), while remaining faithful to the conventional, accepted typology of homes?
Unusual yet tenderly grounded, Casa Pasiddhi defies labelling in its handsomely dark and solid physique - Mexico-based Rojkind Arquitectos has conceived this abode over a verdant, living garden, based on “snake-shaped” passageways that define its spaces, posing discoveries, relaxed nooks and pleasant surprises at every turn and corner. A family oasis taking up residence in “Hacienda de Valle Escondido”, in the State of Mexico, the Pasiddhi House even allows one to forget the presence of next-door neighbours.
A journey into inhabitance escorted by designed circulatory spaces, the Mexican architecture is arranged as a succinctly composed array of sheltered passages that link the dwelling's living programme spread over the ground and first levels. The captured photographs (assumingly) do not do full justice to the meekly intricate, meandering design, its spaces and circulatory routes calling to be experienced and encountered. Precise but never pedantic, this interesting programming, as well as the zoning, planning, and most elements of the interior design, were affected by the client’s need for privacy, and a desire to reside around living plants.
“In Casa Pasiddhi, a traditional architectural housing program becomes a meandering discovery. Everything happens within a circulation system contained in a solid concrete volume with multiple exits where its path is made in a semi-dark passage, illuminated mainly by overhead skylights during the day and very subtle downlights at night,” the Mexican architects relay.
Designed in collaboration with Agustin Pereyra and Inocente Colectivo, the sleek residential architecture journeys lightly around a lush green garden, contrasting with its own dusky prominence. Casa Pasiddhi enjoys a site located within a residential area characterised by modern, country-style houses, compared to which, this project is affably discovered as “an introverted stone vestige, revealing only some features of its solid and brutalist volume,” according to Michel Rojkind, principal architect of the Mexico City-based office. The winding floor plans were also partly conceived as a reaction to the gentle slope of the site.
The contemporary architecture's materiality is articulated with just three materials - concrete, wood and glass. The concrete is displayed across two colours and textures - grey concrete with a smooth finish for the walls of the service elements, grey concrete slabs, and dark concrete with a zigzag finish to reinforce the “hugging gesture” of the project, while wood, glass facades and glazing are successful in injecting warmth to the interiors.
Going through a simple lattice of vertical wooden elements that just separate the street from the property, a fluted black concrete volume comes into sight, containing the home’s horizontal and vertical connections, “making an abstract mobility diagram”. The volume of the concrete architecture rises imperceptibly, freeing the garden and showing various areas of the house existing amid the abundant and wild vegetation.
The series of bridges making up Pasiddhi House’s snake-shaped feature creates a contemplation patio garden at its centre, with the rooms and spaces of family gathering hovering above. “While entering the house you discover the main garden in which all the views and social activities of the family are centred (on),” shares Agustin Pereyra.
Apart from hosting the pedestrian and vehicular entries, the ground level welcomes one into the lobby and main hall by means of open-air staircases, accompanied by greens. One then walks into the open-plan living and dining space bookended by a roomy kitchen, with utility areas including the pantry, laundry and service room bringing up the rear. The floor above houses an expansive living room, master bedroom, terrace deck, bedrooms and studio space overlooking the central patio from where the lobby is accessed below.
The circulatory passages with walls and roofs, conceived as container volumes provide the inhabitants with privacy, in tandem with imparting the concrete architecture with modern touches. The element also gives distinction to the property while defining views for the users, apart from giving the house “a volumetric intention".
Casa Pasiddhi’s social programme centres itself on its snaking element, which becomes the preamble as well as the driving force of the residential design, where it directs attention, guides and frames views. From here, access to the floor above opens, where its warm spaces start appearing discreetly.
While traversing each room of the house, a visual experience from semi-dark circulations to sunlit, wide views is perceived, with bright, floor-to-ceiling glass elements that open up the residence to nature. An opposite development is taking place outside – “the spaces that are delimited, framed, or covered by the volume that rises and winds, create multiple experiences within a garden that invites you to visit it and discover the different areas of the house,” the design team elaborates.
Arranged in a deftly pleasing composition, the house’s spaces seclude and open themselves up to each other as well as the landscape design outside, which also regards and accommodates future needs of flexibility and expansion.
The Pasiddhi House indulges in what can be termed, a gentle brutalism, witnessed in its sturdy facades and hefty volumes, contrasted and softened by the greens it snakes above, as well as its amiable, warm interiors. The collaboration between Rojkind Arquitectos, Agustin Pereyra and Inocente Colectivo reveals a patient, subtly experimental route of designing a typical residence, that rethinks the typology and aesthetic of a traditional home. Casa Pasiddhi’s planning and materiality, seemingly simple and solid, stand out in its arranged, winding form that cordially juxtaposes with the garden it settles itself around, and grants it, a timeless, enduring quality.
Name: Casa Pasiddhi (Pasiddhi House)
Location: State of Mexico, Mexico
Year of completion: 2022
Architect: Rojkind Arquitectos: Michel Rojkind, Ruth Díaz, Eli Ambris, Victor Cruz, Victor Martinez, Daniel Flores, Arie Willem, Adrian Kreslik, Edgar Aurioles, Gerardo Salinas, Adrían Aguilar, Andrea León; Agustin Pereyra: Agustin Pereyra, Roxana León; Inocente Colectivo: Paulina Goycoolea, Alfonso Paz
Principal Architect: Michel Rojkind
Structural Engineer: Ing. Juan Felipe Heredia
MEP: Ing. Germán Muñoz
Landscape Consultant: PA-AR Taller, Paola López, Carlos Ríos
Custom Installations: NTX, Jaime Freyria
Lighting Consultant: Luz en Arquitectura
Builder: ESPAI, Arq. Carlos Ortíz
Installations: MRG Intalaciones y Diseño
Interiors: Mutuo Estudio - Paola Ruiz De Chavéz, Geysell Capetillo