VAN24 house is located just north of Mexico City, in the hills near the Madin dam. This project was developed on a lot with excellent views of the city and of two volcanoes, Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. The view was a central aspect of the design process.
The land contains a pronounced downward slope, ending up at almost six meters /almost 20 ft. below street level. Taking advantage of the lot’s natural topography, the house was constructed at the lowest point, creating two underground levels. This layout offered the opportunity to give the two lower levels a sense of privacy and security that is perfect for the bedroom area.
There are two and a half levels above the street. The main entrance and living area are found one half level above the street, while you step down one half level to the kitchen and dining area. This creates a double height ceiling and ensures uninterrupted views from any vantage point within the main living space
A large four-panel sliding glass door in the living room opens onto a balcony that runs the entire length of the facade, creating a continuous experience between the interior and the exterior. This sense of continuity, combined with the double height ceiling, was essential in creating a spacious open floor plan for the main living space.
The focus remains on the incredible views of the city as we move to the highest level of the house, the roof garden. This space, consisting of a terrace and crowned by a light, white cover that opens to the sky like a screen, was designed as an ideal family gathering place and uses greenery to create an urban sanctuary. Wood louvers offer a sense of privacy from the outside, while admitting light and air into the space.
The concept of VAN24, a floating house, arose from the very use of the half levels. Having the main entrance a half level above the street and the covered parking a half level below, created a base. The treatment of this base was important since it had to provide a contrasting texture and color to encourage a much darker appearance that essentially disappears when in the shadows. For this reason, a slab stone was chosen from a nearby quarry that contrasts with the white of the two levels it supports. When these levels create shadow on the stone base it is possible to imagine that the house is levitating in the air, floating.
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