The location, the conditions on the site, the climate as well as the topography are always important for an architect and they are element that dictate the future design of the house to be built there. Each time the strategy is different and unique, being based on all the elements mentioned just now as well as others that are specific to the project.
The Guazuma House is located in Tabasco, Mexico where it occupies an area of 575 square meters. It sits on a downward slope that extends from the street level towards the rear garden. Here, on the outskirts of the city, the site is tranquil and surrounded by lush vegetation.
The house was completed in 2015 by Alberto Zavala Arquitectos, a studio based in Yucatan and specialized in eco-friendly design and architecture that makes the most of tropical climates and blends well with the environment.
There was a single tree present on the site and the architects and clients agreed that it should become the focal point of the design. The tree is big, with large branches extends on all sides. It sits at the back of the house, forming a canopy visible from the other side.
The house was designed to follow the slope so the volumes follow the topography of the site and gently slope downwards. They form a series of beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, all optimized to make the most of the views and the conditions on the site as well as the tropical climate.
The boundaries between indoor and outdoor are barely noticeable from inside the house. Full height windows and openings connect the two zones and open them to one another in a seamless manner. Further more, the architects were careful to use materials that can connect the house to its surroundings.
Tropical woods, travertine floors and stone from a nearby river were used during the construction and design process, giving the house a distinctively natural and clean look while complying with an overall contemporary aesthetic.
The areas that were most exposed to the sun were closed off and cross ventilation was ensured throughout the house in order to create an environment as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible for this type of climate. Further more, aluminum window blinds offer extra protection from the sun as well as insulation when needed.
Speaking of which, the house features high thermal and acoustic insulation despite its open and breezy design. Cellular concrete blocks and precast slabs were used for the walls and construction in general and the sliding doors were designed with double glass panels.
The rooftop has solar panels and LED lights were used throughout the house in order to ensure a low-energy design. The building also has a nice way of integrating into the surroundings thanks to the use of natural materials, colors and textures.
Earthy tones and neutrals are used in combination with stronger shades such as red or green and other colors found in nature. There’s a really nice balance of colors which allows each room to have a distinct personality and to also blend nicely into the structure and design as a whole.