MUSEUM HOUSE

Baja California / Mexico / 2011

3
3 Love 1,075 Visits Published
MUSEUM HOUSE Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico 2011 GC arquitectos, in association with Studio Huerta Project Description Located in the Valle de Guadalupe region of Baja California’s developing wine country, the genesis of this project lies in a two-fold challenge: first, to build a house within a period of 6 months so that it may host the annual meeting of the governors of bordering cities between United States and Mexico; and second, that it may be flexible enough so as to be of exclusive use to the community in the future. Its primary use at being converted would be a contemporary art gallery for painting, sculpture, and photography, as well as film in an outdoor setting. It may also be used as a wine tasting venue, as the house’s location is in a region that has for decades established itself as the best in Mexico for wine production, and only two hours driving distance from San Diego. Initially, the house was conceived as a composition of outfitted shipping containers – the idea being that this building method allows for gains in construction time, flexibility and formal simplicity. Following further investigation, however, the option was ruled out, as the economic reality of building with containers still lies far from its idealized conception, especially in developing countries. Nonetheless, the original building diagram based on the containers still provided for several of the project’s demands. Its formal economy provided for both flexibility of use and savings in both construction costs and time, and was also apt for local building systems. The building plan was then developed as a series of bars placed in a cruciform composition, giving each area of program autonomy, natural ventilation and varying degrees of sunlight, as well as extensive views of the panoramic landscape. The entire structure was lifted unto a constructed earth plinth to save it from seasonal flooding, a task that took almost 2 months as it had to be done during peak rain season. The base of the house was then built – a series of 5 independent concrete platforms, each with separate radiant heating systems suitable for the Mediterranean climate of hot days and cold nights. The walls were constructed with local concrete block, either single or double-layered to provide additional insulation from the heat. The roof system is a lightweight steel structure, with a suspended ceiling. The subsequent building volumes, with the exception of the detached master suite, are all connected through small, glass-enclosed walkways, acting as ligaments from one portion of the house to the other. The palette of finish materials is kept simple and minimal – natural cement plaster for the exterior walls, painted gypsum board for the interior, oxidized steel frames for the windows, and aluminum sliding doors and fixed façade elements. All exterior areas, except for the swimming pool, are covered with tensed textiles, positioned from steel columns inclined 15 degrees from the cardinal directions. The primary views of the living room, kitchen and dining space, and master suite are to the existing vineyard and mountains beyond of the valley. The guest bedrooms, on the other hand, view to the north and the new vineyards being planted in the region. The rest of complex includes a vertical tower, used as a multi-level playhouse for the numerous grandchildren of the client, another tower positioned horizontally for various service functions, and a small family chapel. Various sculptures, made from building elements discarded during construction and found natural objects on the property, are located throughout the site. The client’s wish to display art and personal photography also led to a system of operable doors constructed with clear plastic laminate over large-format printing, so as to combine building elements with objects of visual interest. The house and complex, in its entirety, was completed in a period of 5 months. The original intention of building with shipping containers, while proving inefficient, was developed into a flexible and local system that could provide a simple, elegant, and economic building solution, thus adding to the refined and ecological traditions that have long defined the region of Valle de Guadalupe.
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    MUSEUM HOUSE Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico 2011 GC arquitectos, in association with Studio Huerta Project Description Located in the Valle de Guadalupe region of Baja California’s developing wine country, the genesis of this project lies in a two-fold challenge: first, to build a house within a period of 6 months so that it may host the annual meeting of the governors of bordering cities between United States and Mexico; and second, that it may be flexible enough so as to be...

    Project details
    • Year 2011
    • Work started in 2011
    • Work finished in 2011
    • Main structure Masonry
    • Client Terra SA de CV
    • Contractor SGC Construcciones
    • Cost 750,000
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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