Casa SEL / CampoTaller

Casa SEL by CampoTaller

Completed by Mexican studio CampoTaller, Casa SEL is situated in the Coyoacán neighborhood of Mexico City. The project consists of the modification and intervention of a house built in the 1970s.

Modification:
One of the primary targets was admitting daylight into all interior spaces and improving the visual connection between the house and its immediate surroundings. The garden is dominated by a more than 80 years old peppercorn tree that is framed on two sides by the building.

Casa SEL by CampoTaller 1

The original building structure had windows with false arches and thick wooden frames. Both have been changed and the new, rectangular steel frames offer a better view and general transparency on the ground floor level. The necessity of constructing a new cistern in the garden was taken as a pretext to create a surface of water on top of the container, serving as a mirror for the crown of the adjoining peppercorn tree and to cool down the air flowing through the garden.

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The interior was reorganized, demolishing walls in order to organize kitchen, dining space and living room in a “plan libre”. The newly introduced wooden staircase becomes part of the integrated furniture on ground floor and first floor.

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Intervention:
The intervention consists of the reactivation of the roof terrace as a loggia/greenhouse, that also serves as the a vestibule to the first floor bedroom which is extended by an extra bathroom. A service room on the ground floor is reduced to a minimum, generating a service patio on the back of the house. This new exterior space offers light and ventilation for the kitchen. The now detached service room is provided with a new, permeable facade made out of extremely light clay tiles, stacked with minimum use of cement and a technique similar to a house of cards.

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In order to make a visual distinction between the original structure and the new parts of the building, an experimental shuttering technique was used for the concrete elements cast in place: the surface structure is created by introducing petate-sheets (carpet-like elements that are hand woven out of palm-leaves) into the concrete mold. The almost organic looking concrete gives an additional reference to the clients, two biologists and plant lovers.

Architects: CampoTaller
Project: Casa SEL
Architect in Charge: Arch. Humberto Moreno H.
Structures: Arch. Ricardo Camacho
Assistants: Arch. Carlos Jair Odriozola V.
Location: Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico
Photography: Moritz Bernoulli

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