Brothers Mario and Diego Senties requested us to design a pair of houses in a 21,528 ft2
estate within the jungle at Bonfil, Municipality of Benito Juárez, Cancún, Quintana Roo.
The analysis of the land came to us naturally. This is ground snatched from the wilderness, so only the existing large trees and the almost squared-shaped proportions could be preserved. However, constructed roads built with a material unknown to us but used for thousands of years in that region, named SASCAB, aroused our curiosity and defined the design line we followed further.
Advocates as we are of the approach known as Critical Regionalism, we try to incorporate to
our projects contextual elements of unique shapes in order to make observers and users
unconsciously perceive the construction as part of its specific location. Likewise, remains of
Prehispanic Architecture along the Puc Route, with their large rectangular proportions and
sills, helped us create a sense of belonging that distances us of from the uniformity of modern
architecture and takes us closer to rediscover a more sensitive and reasonable one.
The premises underlaying the design of the architectural layout included:
Thermal comfort Independence
Use of the whole estate Preservation of existing trees Regional raw materials
Local labor force
Each house is located on an independent 10,764 ft2 area, so that they can be separated by means of a wall if necessary. However, we also had to consider the visual and spatial integration of both houses.
The 15.75 and 23.62 inches walls made out of packed down sascab (mud wall) define and shape both indoor and outdoor spaces, besides helping maintain thermal comfort. Their high thermal insulation coefficient minimizes air conditioning usage, so we employed them as protection against the sun at both east and west orientations.
Residual spaces are protected by the shades resulting from built volumes or terrace's roofs, maintaining thus thermal comfort.
In housing spaces, such as dining, living and bed rooms, roof height is 15 ft. Together with the cross ventilation obtained from splayed windows and lattices along both houses, this ensures heat dissipation.
Cement floors in different areas rise to serve as support for the sascab walls, working both as plinth indoors and protection against rain water outdoors.
Regional woods, such as zapote and tzlam, were used for the structure of terraces and interiors. Cast granite bars, polished cement coating, concrete cornices, rusted steel beams, aluminum, local glass and paint constitute the simple finish palette that allowed us to reduce construction investment to $6,500 MXN per 10.7 ft2, while maintaining spaces above the norm.
Separation of the public from the private is essential for these clients. Thus, we sought spatial and visual independence for each of the houses, which face their own garden. They share the public outdoor area, so that family interaction is encouraged when needed.
PROJECT CASAS M + D.
Client- Mario and Diego Senties
Architectural Design. COLECTIVO MX ARQUITECTOS
Javier Gutiérrez Toscano, Antonio Plá Perez, Fátima Chavarria Cifuentes, Andres Oliver Barragán, Armando del Campo Centeno
General Contractor. Sergio Garcia
Structural Engineering. Grupo SAI. Ing. Gerson Huerta Hydro-sanitary Engineering: Sensacional de Instalaciones Electrical Engineering: Sensacional de Instalaciones Air-conditioning Engineering: Sensacional de Instalaciones
Sergio Buitron Casas, SM 308, MZ393, Col. Alfredo V Bonfil, Benito Juarez, Cancún, Quintana Roo.
Complex total area: 2,000 m2 Building area 661.42 m2
Building area casa M 255 m2
Building area casa D 310.42 m2
Pool 59 m2
Building area entrances and lot wall 96 m2 Green area 1,338 m2
Project start date. January 2010
Complex construction start date. July 2010 Casa M delivery date. March 2011 Complex delivery date. January 2012
$ 330,000 USD
We are a contemporary firm that has in view an architecture with soul instead of a trendy architecture; the purpose of our projects is to build an identity that can blend into the context and the community for which they are created. We believe that architecture not only serves the purpose of giving a shelter to life, but also of fulfilling the deepest desires of those communities who will live there, of favoring new ways to share in peace and, at the same time, of shaping and creating awareness about the landscape that our children will inhabit in the future.