El Vaquerito, Morelia, Michoacán, México
Rogelio Vallejo Bores and Oscar Didier Ascencio Castro and their design team from HW Studio carefully listened to the subtle murmurs and whispers of the environment, as well as the client’s search for protection and shelter as the inspiration for this new house in El Vaquerito, Morelia, Michoacán, México.
The architecture is like an accent on the words of a poem, like a comma or a question mark, but never the actual poem itself.
The poem is already written 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.
Four concrete walls contribute accents to the poem, surprisingly emerging from the landscape; two of them bearing the land of the new hill created by raising the bedsheet, and two others framing the access as they escort guests into the house.
The path is wide enough to walk comfortably alone, yet narrow enough to discourage accompaniment.
Visitors are cast into a pilgrimage of solitude that leads to 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, a concrete vault stands, supporting the loads of the green bed sheet that rests upon it; providing a sensation of being inside a cold, dark, but a strangely cozy cave.
Concrete was chosen as the main material due to a dream about this new rock melting while inevitably interacting with the forest, changing colors—grays that turned to greens, blacks, and yellows—that were gradually incorporated into the environment.
The flooring emphasizes an aroma of wood that is perceived when surrounded by pine trees, providing balance to the cold temperature of the concrete; and finally, steel that, with time and rainfall, acquires an appearance like tree bark.
As for the spatial organization, public areas on the left side of the house are completely exposed to the wooded ravine, and on the right side are open more timidly to a courtyard with treetop and sky views.
It was important to have very few references of elements that would connect to a specific moment in time, so the refrigerator and appliances were hidden, the lighting was arranged very discreetly, and only the four main materials were included: stone, wood, concrete, and steel.
It was very important for the client to preserve the rough and primitive atmosphere of being in the mountains.
Project: House on a Hill
Architects: HW Studio
Lead Architects: Rogelio Vallejo Bores and Oscar Didier Ascencio Castro.
Design Team: Sergio Antonio Garcia Padilla, Jesus Alejandro Lopez Hernandez, and Alberto Gallegos Negrete
Photographers: Mavix. Hugo Tirso Dominguez, Juan Pablo Guerra, Dane Alonso, César Béjar Studio