In the mountains outside Valle de Bravo, a lakeside town two and a half hours west of Mexico City, Barcelona-based firm Cadaval & Solà-Morales has designed ‘Casa de la Roca’, a Y-shaped building that merges with its forest surrounds.
The 300-meter-square home has an unusual layout, with three wings of similar size extending from a communal area at the center of the home. This lounge and dining area has open sides that offer views to the forest on one side, and across the lake on the other. Inspired by the surrounding environment, the building has been designed to take fulladvantage of such views: each of the arms extend from this central nodule in a different direction, offering multiple forest vistas to the residents. “The landscape surrounding the house is a unique place, where each and every one of its corners can be celebrated,” the architects explain. The majesty of the natural world has been respected here; the house does not attempt to conquer the wooded land upon which it is built, rather it employs camouflage techniques in order to blend in with its surroundings. Built from concrete, the property’s exterior has been painted black to lessen its contrast with the environment. The thermal mass of the concrete also assists in regulating the temperature, aiding the natural heating and cooling system that the house has installed via cross ventilation. Upcycled wood has been used to craft the roof structure, which is topped by a green roof that matches the forest surrounds.