The Architect words:
This 240sqm private residence designed by ARQUIDROMO is built on a former municipal right of way; a residual space with an irregular shape that, although initially perceived as a disadvantage, turned out to be a design opportunity. CLOUD HOUSE has a dynamic, three-dimensional and sculptural character. Usually, lateral walls on this housing scale lack aesthetic intent and remain hidden in narrow, dark service corridors; however, the irregular format of this lot enabled a lateral face of the building to be visible from the street, making it a fundamental part of the composition of the main façade.
The composition consists of a set of white monoliths that are stacked in an organic and lyrical way. Each part of the residence’s program is materialized in one of these cubic modules of varying dimensions in order to suit its function. The disorderly order of the composition is the result of the loose relationship between its parts, like the molecules of water in a cloud. The rectangle-shaped lot is bent at a 45-degree angle forcing all the program behind the garage to be rotated. This creates a contrast that accentuates the difference between the two main parts of the composition: the garage, a base of dark and rough concrete; and -the cloud-, of white and smooth surfaces.
The garage is a portico that receives pedestrians and motorists alike: A carpet made of sea-salt texturized concrete and river stones receives you on the sidewalk and before leading you to the main access door, it takes you through a space inhabited by vines that grow freely on the walls, the floor and the roof without restriction. A gray prelude to a symphony of whiteness. After opening the main door, you find a dark and low corridor that prepares you for a great contrast with the next part of the journey. A double heighted space full of light makes you look up. This room is articulated by the continuity of voids generated between the white monoliths. This is the heart of the house, the center of the cloud containing the social areas.
Although from the outside, the house has a hermetic appearance, this room has large windows that blur the boundaries between interior and exterior. Views towards the neighboring constructions are avoided, framing only the sky and mountains, creating an atmosphere of distance and serenity. The white plastered walls and ceilings of this space are a low-cost solution that express a lack of materiality and emphasizes form over textures; On the other hand, rustic and cozy materials were chosen for the floor and furniture.
The concrete stairs are a central and sculptural piece that takes you to a semi-private living room on the second level of the residence; a low and cozy space that serves as a transition to the third level where a corridor wrapped in overhead natural light takes you to the three independent and modest bedrooms. CLOUD HOUSE takes advantage of the irregularities of its plot and turns them into design opportunities. The proposal gives priority to social spaces over private spaces to encourage family encounters and gatherings.
Team: Beto Frías
Andrés M. Campuzano
Area: 240 m2
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Photography: (c) Daniela Barocio
ARQUIDROMO was founded in 2011 by Mexican architects Beto Frías and Andrés M. Campuzano. The organic, atypical and complex gestures of their architecture are the result of a rigorous research process; a formal and spatial exploration exercise powered by parametric design software; and a fascination for challenging and optimizing traditional typologies.
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