by Jincy IypeApr 07, 2021
Casa Duraznos, designed by V Taller, imbibes elements from hacienda architecture, a traditional architectural style original to Spain and Mexico, such as white stucco walls, courtyards, arched features and simple exteriors with little to no decoration. Lush greens make friends with weighty concrete volumes of varying heights to create a fragmented layout, giving each room in the dwelling its own unique atmosphere.
“Casa Duraznos is the natural result of a series of casual and organic connections,” share project leads, Daniel Villanueva and Miguel Valverde. “Throughout the house we also tried to generate a series of encounters between nature and architecture with the intention of emulating the behaviour of the vegetation in Chiapas or in The Huasteca Potosina, where foliage can be found in any surface available,” they continue.
Located in Zapopan city in Mexico, the 517 sqm residential architecture is spread across two storeys and a basement, and follows the wishes of the clients who wanted to explore the elements of haciendas. The design team reveals that they incorporated “an atemporal formal language” in the project. Similar to how haciendas are structured by the shape and the weight of the arches, the home employs concrete to do the job. The stucco walls refer to chukum, a material created by mixing limestone-based stucco with resin from the chukum tree, a species native to the Yucatan region of Mexico.
The site’s terrain also played a significant role in influencing the design. Based in an urban area, it had a unique, irregular shape that encouraged the architects to visualise a space without an entrance facade. Therefore, the entrance performs as a promenade where visitors are first introduced to a series of walls that eventually guide them to a rich, vibrant green garden.
The ground floor houses a kitchen, dining room and a living area, along with a studio and a small bedroom, all of which share a deep connection to the landscape, generating unexpected encounters at every turn. The top floor shares similar volumes that create a more intimate and private space for the habitants of the house. The basement of the house includes a garage and storage area.
V Taller designed Casa Duraznos with an aim to generate an indefinite series of encounters between nature and the house. The site was already home to a Guamuchil tree, and they decided to preserve it in the design; a contained but open space was built around it, making it a focus of the house. This, along with all the verdant plants and quiet setting of the house, makes it a perfect refuge away from the noise of the city.
As the original owners moved out shortly after the house was completed, this meant that more requests came in from the new inhabitants – they sought to expand the space without hampering the growth of the tree, which was done by expanding the dining and living space at the back. “The original outline of the house allowed the growth easily, continuing the same rich experience of nature in direct communication with architecture,” concludes the Guadalajara-based practice.
Name: Casa Duraznos
Location: Zapopan, Mexico
Year of Completion: 2019
Area: 517 sqm
Architects: Daniel Villanueva and Miguel Valverde
Team: Sergio Chavez, Lorena Aguilar, Alejandra Duarte, Andrea Castro, Karina Ortega
(Text by Sharmin Oanali, intern at STIRworld.com)