Tapalpa, JAL, MX
Design: Elías Rizo / Alejandro Rizo
This small house is located near the town of Tapalpa, upon the mountains of the Sierra Madre.
The commission asked for a weekend house with a simple program and the utmost regard for its environment. The clients also asked that the house maintain a contemporary poise that would set it apart from the rustic, vernacular norm that governs most of the architecture in the region. In other words, the house should assert its individuality without overshadowing or breaking away entirely from its natural setting.
From its conception, the project was imagined as a weekend home that would serve as a retreat from the bustle of the city. For us, this purpose was best achieved by establishing a frank, open relationship with its surroundings and articulating a stark separation between private and public spaces.
The house was built as a lineal element in a forest clearing, with open views of the surrounding field of tall, slender pine trees. Solid flint-stone walls and wood constitute its envelope. Meanwhile, inside the house, the ruggedness of the exterior finishes gives way to softer textures and warmer surfaces. All detailing was executed with great care and a considerable level of sophistication, using local materials, thus the house offers all the amenities and comforts of a city home without losing its essence as a mountain retreat home.
Tapalpa is known for its humidity and its prolonged rainy season. The houses dotting its rural landscape are all characterized by slanted roofs with long eaves, covered in red clay tiles. The profile of the house establishes a slightly unusual geometry but utilizes the same materials. Red clay tiles are used on the slanted roof, and cover the wood beams that project over the walls of the house, to articulate the eaves, also reminiscent of traditional country homes in the area. The operable panels in the rooms allude to the wooden blackout shutter concept that is traditionally implemented in rustic country homes all across México.