Architects: ASP Arquitectura Sergio Portillo
Project: Cumbres House / House Build from Compressed Earth Blocks
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Photography: Rafael Gamo
Text by ASP Arquitectura Sergio Portillo
This is a consecutive housing development in Mexico City in which the restrictions, with a reduced separation between the houses, affects the views and how the orientations are leveraged. In response, the decision was made to create a large patio that develops the home’s spaces, and generates a dialog between interior and exterior contexts that allows light to enter while providing the structure with visual and thermostatic self-sufficiency.
Its independence is also visible in the raw materials used to build the structure. The shape of the footprint and the regulated limits led us to a solution involving soil excavation and removal, resulting in a collaboration with the environment to leverage the property’s most important resource, which was the soil itself. We used it to produce compressed earth blocks (CEB) at the site; these, in addition to providing a real solution that reduce its environmental footprint, provide it with a rooted sense of belonging in which the color scheme is defined by the site itself, and not by the architect.
From the exterior, the project appears to be a grouping of extruded blocks that allude to the impenetrability and the massiveness of the material, while the interior highlights the openness and lightness of these elements in an open floor plan. Throughout the project, the earth functions as the project’s unifying element.