This contemporary house designed by Mexican practice REC Arquitectura makes a double statement. The first one is the design statement, with its utterly contemporary concrete and glass structure, and its rigid geometry. The second one is the technological statement, with a passive system that saves up to 85% of the energy. The shape of the house is defined by a L-shaped concrete wall that serves various purposes. First of all it defines the silhouette of the house and it supports its structure, being the main load-bearing wall of the house. The hidden feature of this wall is that it contains thermal inertia capabilities, storing and dissipating heat when it is needed by way of a heat-sink in electronics, as response to the cool-temperate climate of the location. The design of the spaces is functional and modular, with spaces that can easily re-adapt to the changing needs of the owners. As an example, the double height space between the living room and the dining room is meant to later become a swimming pool. The vertical design is dictated by the slope of the site. There is a ground floor at the street level, where the day side of the house is organized, and a sunken level that contains the night side and that continues outside the house with the enclosed garden.
There are actually two L-shaped concrete walls: one is the vertical load-bearing wall and the other one is the concrete slab that makes the flat roof and then turns at 90 degrees to join the spinal cord of the house. The house is dressed up in a concrete coat that keeps it warm when it is cold outside.
A system of internal and external bridges and stairs link the various parts of the house among them.
On the top floor, the living room and the dining room are part of the same big open space, with full height glazed facades that bring in the light and the views from outside.
These two spaces are separated by a double height area that goes all the way down to the lower floor. This space, functioning as an interior zen garden, is the spot for the future swimming pool. When the pool will be integrated to the house, it will be covered with a terrace on the top floor, thus limiting the heat loss.
The facades alternate concrete and glass surfaces. The floors are made of polished concrete, which emanates heat thanks to its thermal inertia capabilities.
The lower floor contains the master suite and the other bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. On this floor the windows change orientation, becoming horizontal and developing on length rather than on height.
The floors of the bedrooms are covered in wood, in order to create a cozier atmosphere. The walls are painted white, with a textured touch.