HW Studio: Winner of World Design Awards 2022. The idea that originated this project came from the subtle murmurs whispered by an environment like this, which we did well to listen to, and from our client’s search for protection and shelter.
How do we feel protected? and in any case, what is the first thing we do when we feel vulnerable? This question was accompanied by an image or perhaps a memory: that of a frightened child covering himself with a light bed sheet as he looks out to make sure he sees what is going on around him.
Pulling a bed sheet to cover yourself is a very elemental act that alludes to the most basic part of our being; it tucks you in, protects you, wraps you up, and creates a space underneath so safe and intimate that it is able to keep away any spirit, ghost, or demon that may be surrounding your room.
At the same time, it generates a continuity in the beautiful living surface that surrounded our land, forming a new hill in a place surrounded by many of them.
The architecture should be in this case the accent in the words of the poem, the comma, or in any case a question mark, but it should never be the poem itself. The poem is already given by the pines, the oaks, the sweet acacia, the fireflies, the road, the fence, the neighbor’s water well, the earth, the orchard, and the nightingale.
The accents in the poem were four concrete walls that emerge surprisingly from the landscape; two of them contain the earth of this new hill that was generated by raising the bed sheet, and two others frame the access and escort you on your way into the house.
This path is wide enough to walk it comfortably alone but narrow enough not to be able to do it accompanied. You will be cast into a pilgrimage in solitude that leads you to come across an old tree with such a significant presence that it was necessary to distort the linearity of one of the walls with a gentle curve to be able to pass next to it…so close that it is even possible to graze it.
After crossing the tree threshold, going down a few solid pearled stone steps, and opening a heavy steel door, we discover a concrete vault that supports the loads of the green bed sheet that rests on it; it gives us a sensation of being inside a cold, dark, but strangely cozy cave.
Concrete was chosen as the main material because we dreamed of this new rock melting while it inevitably interacted with the forest, changing colors… grays that turn to greens, blacks and yellows that are gradually incorporated into the environment. The flooring would emphasize the aroma of wood that is perceived when you are surrounded by pine trees and gives balance to the cold temperature of the concrete, and finally the steel because with time and rainfall, it acquires an appearance similar to tree bark.
As for the spatial organization, on the left side of the house are the public areas completely exposed to the wooded ravine, and on the right side the private areas open more timidly to a courtyard that allows you to see the sky and the top of some trees but that closes a bit towards the outside.
We tried to have very few references of elements that would connect to a specific moment in time, so we hid the refrigerator and appliances, we were very discreet with the lighting, and we limited ourselves to the use of the 4 main materials: stone, wood, concrete, and steel. For us and for our client, it was very important to preserve the rough and primitive atmosphere of being in the mountains.
Rogelio Vallejo Bores & Didier Ascencio Castro
The Hill in Front the Glen
World Design Awards Category
Small Villa Built
Near Morelia City in Michoacán, Mexico
Nik Zaret, Sergio Garcia & Jésus López
©Cesar Bejar & Dane Alonso
HW studio was born with the purpose of stimulating and involving eastern and western artistic and philosophical principles in the architectural process, in order to create spaces that evoke and promote the threatened peace.
We constantly seek to promote an appreciation of what is really important in life; eliminating from architecture, everything that is not essential so that through conscious contemplation, states of inner peace can be reached.
We understand and intend an architecture that manages to pause the mind; that manages to introduce us into silence and in that silence, we can find a small glimpse of peace.