Habitáculo San Juan

Habitáculo San Juan

Architect
Luis Carbonell
Location
San Juan Atezcapan, Estado de México
Project Year
2019
Category
Private Houses

Habitáculo San Juan

Luis Carbonell as Architects

The project takes place in the field of an Avocado Orchard, a property located in the south of the State of Mexico, close to Valle de Bravo and Avandaro.

Prior to the intervention a couple of independent structures were built in different periods of time as disaggregated pieces. 

An initial hut was built out of adobe, hosting two small rooms of minimal conditions and later on a body of masonry for communal space holding a living room, a small kitchen and an adjacent bathroom.

The aim of the project was to produce a third intervention of the space, one that would complement and bridge all of them to work as a whole integrated country house.

The new envelope emulates the independent character of the preexisting boxes, but also leans on top of them spanning and creating a new entryway as a threshold for more privacy in those areas.

The tiny rooms are reconditioned and redistributed towards the new hallway serving them with a new integrated bathroom and attaching them to the pivoting anchor of the project, the main room.

This new entity relates again with its predecessors pretending to follow their rules and normative characteristics. Being built with the same materials such as stone, adobe and concrete. Responding to the same typological criteria of the traditional local dwelling, encompassed by robust walls under an inclined shed roof. Submitting itself to the dominance without completely giving in by provoking alterations of its new morphology.

Programming extensions, continuities and subtractions, the architectural elements create this new personality.

For example, concrete slabs that exceed the limits of the restraining walls, even breaking them. One of them acts as a stripe that links contiguous spaces blurring or completely erasing interior boundaries, on one end it functions as a sink in the bathroom, then on its horizontal spread, it may be used as a desk or a shelf and then it turns into a chimney at the end of the space, but the element doesn't exhausts itself, it continues on the other side as another outdoor shelf that connects to a lower bench that then again retracts in the opposite direction turning into a garden level that filters the view of the window that sits on top of the previous slab.

On another element, the continuity is interrupted by a sliding door that instead of being actively closed, stays passive for the constant state of the spaces to flow only to be activated by its gliding movement to interlock in a tongue and groove tail double axes joint with the opposite slab.

On the outside, the water that falls on the main roof, pours on its inclined surface to the new plane that will drop on a vertical fall onto a carved stone container, then get over filled and spilled, so the water flows back again to the soil and the phreatic mantle. A phenomenon to be observed at the end of the visual axis of the new entryway. 

As part of the outbreak attempts, Pablo Kobayashi, was invited to devise other ways to contain, conduct and interrupt the flow of vital elements of the house. A sink and a chimney materialized from this creative collaboration: 


The pieces rise from the reassessment of two banal and opposing rituals.

Placed across extremes of the concrete slab that simultaneously joins and split rooms, they act as controllers of both elements, 

water and fire.


The geometry takes in from the Metates, a flat and oblong stone to ground grains and other foods from Prehispanic cultures. Never concealing the techniques in which it was virtually modelled and digitally fabricated onto the manual processes of manufacture.


The vessels stand on a pedestal-like foot that floats from an underground tray, as they lay on the concrete slab on precision brass pins inserted on the negative cutout made by hand demolition from the horizontal surface.


Water is guided through concrete grooves leading to a natural sequenced fall on the interior of one side as in the other the receptacle holds the ashes of the fire. 

The water fills an underground stone tray and the fire exhumes the smoke into a metal chimney that hangs from the roofs. 


Kobayashi led the execution of the final design as well as the production and manufacturing of these pieces and others that helped complement furniture and lighting elements of the project.


Short Version:

The intervention of a country house in Mexico by the juxtaposition of a small room that ignites a set of relations of the existing tectonics by powerful play of contrast and blending into it.


Collaborators:

Pablo Kobayashi - Concrete and Metal Work  (Sink, Chimney and additional concrete pieces)

Offelia Estudio - Specialized Metal Work  (Chimney Fabrication)

Makaua - Palma (Hanging Shade Lamp)

Maestro Jesús Rodríguez - Construction (Construction Management and Execution)

Camila Cossio - Photography

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