This project is located in a house from the 30’s, in an old neighborhood of the city of Guadalajara, American neighborhood. As we received such an important assignment, we had to be extremely aware of how to contribute to the area and how the intervention would be done. For that, we had to consider two types of users, the one who lives and the one who belongs to the community, which has an indirect relation towards the house.
We had to analyze very carefully what the house was, and what we had there. In general, it was in good shape and its original features where pretty evident, which was essential for our project. We noticed that even though it had some interventions, the distribution was preserved almost intact. The project tried to highlight the good features of the house, to rescue that which was in bad condition and everything new we were adding to the house mustn’t compete with the old accents. Our challenge was to intervene this property keeping and respecting its spatial features; the most important thing was never to lose the spirit or the regional features.
The outer façade maintains full, it was in very poor conditions so the window frames were repainted in white, the plaster that was coming off was replaced, the exact same tiles were requested, with an extraordinary green copper oxide enamel finish, just as the original ones and located on the outer fence and covers. It was decided to use a grille as subtle as possible, very transparent; almost like a veil so neither the physiognomy nor the volume of the house would change, but that it must work ensuring the safety due to the area’s commercial, gastronomic and night life.
The sidewalk was leveled and a typical Guadalajara chessboard type mosaic was resumed; gardens were fixed caring for existing trees, relocating some of them. An outer planter is shaped so that the house might contribute in a pleasant and human way to the street. A garden is given to the city, the idea is that this intervention was an input to start weaving and combining efforts to recover the area and that this movement could spread to create city.
Walking through the house is undeniable that the composition axes were very well kept, arches and window frames have a lot to do with the interior tour, it is interesting to see how a small vestibule receives the visitor and relates with the living room, a place to talk, a closed space very well achieved that opens aligned and framed towards the dining which has a smaller one to the backyard creating a sense of depth. To return, you can see that even though the arches are not on the symmetrical axis, they wrap each other achieving always that balance.
By carefully analyzing and reviewing the house, we noticed it had some interventions in the kitchen, the fireplace and some wooden windows apparently placed on the 70s. Everything was removed, only de shell was left and it was intervened again taking into account that the spaces expression was always overriding. The living was kept the same and the fireplace was reconstructed whit concrete to create a contrast between antique and new.
We decided to demolish some of the enclosures to give amplitude to soma areas; we also demolished two interior walls that were not part of the original project to make a big space incorporating the kitchen that opens to the backyard with a sitting area looking to de side patio. The wooden windows were removed due to malfunction but sought to preserve their proportion features, a very human proportion. Only glass windows were proposed so that they wouldn’t compete with the house and a double façade to the exterior was made so that they could easily hide without attracting any attention.
The backyard had a really different concept from the rest of the house, it was cleaned up and covered with glass so that it felt like a new part of the house, again, creating a contrast with the intervened and the old part. As the house would be for a single person, we made an open bathroom that belongs to the outside and we added a simple fountain with a water surface all the way from the bedroom, that way, the patio was humanized in a very pleasant way. The neighboring boundary was turned into a green wall.
The guest room and its full bathroom are located in the second level. While coming up, we found a wonderful rooftop but in poor conditions so we tried to recover it. We used a very light steel cover not to compete with the rest of the house but at the same time felt like new. A deck was placed, containing a bar, living and dining space, surrounded by a small layer of vegetation, and we accomplished a very interesting space to explode the virtues of the second level. The rooftops stroke was worked as a canvas, adding walls and vegetation where the landscape asked for it and exposing what we thought was important, the visuals where redirected using the link with the street, a very wooded area.
The materials used are very respectful with the original ones, gray stone, tzalam wood for the interiors and IPE wood for the exterior and black volcanic stone for the patio. Vegetation plays an important role in the house.