located in the indigenous community of mezcala in the state of jalisco, mexico, ‘casa galápagos’ by c3 arquitectos emerges as a cluster of scattered brick-clad masses that are integrated into the natural surroundings. overlooking towards the lake chapala, the disjointed house sough to attain absolute respect for the context without any type of intrusion while sustaining a non-urban life scheme. solely using local materials, the architects attempted to reinforce and aid the local economy.all images courtesy of c3 arquitectos
the outlines of the constructions were determined by the gaps between vegetation and rocks. ‘casa galápagos’ by c3 arquitectos is settled scattered maintaining only a single guiding and unifying space. the pre-existing garden functions as a yard that links all the parts of the house. furthermore, the diffusion of the different spaces offers the visitors an opportunity to wander and explore different areas of the terrain; the northern boundary (main entrance) ascends with a slope of approximately 30% and reaches a +4m level, then it maintains its inclination, thus creating a large platform where users can find a wide variety of endemic trees.
the symbiosis of light, vegetation, geomorphology, and the lake generate a feeling of great respect for the context. the land is very rocky with many large monolithic formations; some semi-buried, others fully exposed. the dense foliage acts as a filter for the sunlight, creating light effects all over the ground. through the tree trunks, guests can see from a distance the lake of chapala.
in order to deference the surroundings, the architects sought to solve the house in one level, respecting the foliage and utilizing it as a natural cover. the constructions are made only with local materials and the workforce was executed by local people. the foundations and walls are built with stone extracted from the ground, the flattened floors are made with local sand, the stones for the outdoor walks were collected from a nearby stream, and the mud bricks for the walls were manufactured by artisanal workers under distinct specifications with measurements designed for the given project.
the purpose was to break the traditional life scheme ruled by urban archetypes and customs while transforming the way of living into a more flexible and open way. the spatial quality is given by its dimensions and scale, not by its ornaments. meanwhile, the house was originally designed to be for occasional use, but it has now become a house of permanent use.
name: casa galápagos
architects: c3 arquitectos
location: state of jalisco, mexico
edited by: christina petridou | designboom