Practica Arquitectura creates a vacation home with a central garden in Mexico

a weekend home full of tranquility

An hour south of Mexico Cityin the city of Tepoztlán, Studio Practica Arquitectura realized a escape retreat for city dwellers who want quiet and contemplative moments. With “La Hacienda Jardín” the design team tried to offer a reinterpretation of the classic Mexican haciendas, adding a modern touch and combining both into a harmonious whole. Haciendas are usually fenced by gardens, but in this case the project does the opposite: the residence is developed around a spacious garden that reflects the area’s unique topography, embedded in three rock formations.

The apartment is designed as a holiday residence for the couple and their children and can be converted into a retirement home in the future. Therefore, the programmatic boundaries created by perimeter stack walls are blurred, allowing residents to rearrange the space as needed.


La Hacienda Jardín in its immediate context

all pictures by César Béjar and Oscar Hernández

be inspired by the special features of the area

Tepoztlán is an area devoid of day-to-day activities that usually become necessities in a busy city: Cell phone signal is very weak, electricity supply is unstable and water is scarce in dry seasons. In this context, where everything moves more slowly, the architects have chosen to reflect this in the design and to focus on what the area has to offer: pure nature and tranquillity.

Apart from the calm the architects at Practica Arquitectura tried to reflect the architectural character of the area in the design. Therefore, they chose building materials that are gently integrated into the immersive landscape that acts as a backdrop for the garden. The range of materials is completed with clay, wood, tiles, stone and whitewashed walls. In addition, the design team drew from the area’s hidden gems and sought to incorporate a hidden charm into the design. This charm is translated into the central courtyard, which is hidden from the outside and invites the viewer to enter and discover.

practica arquitectura forms a vacation home with a central garden in mexico
Aerial view of the project

Reinterpretation of the Hacienda concept

As mentioned, the design is inspired by the Hacienda concept, with the only difference being that the design team turned the idea on its head. As a result, the house is shaped around a large courtyard that becomes the diaphragm that handles the interactions and marks the public and private spaces. The roof over the courtyard frames the Tepozteco Mountain and allows for a visual connection with the landscape. In terms of materiality, the perimeter wall is made of Texcal volcanic rock that dialogues with the surrounding landscape. In contrast, Durango pine is used for the main structure and becomes the main interior material for the beams and poles.

The inner perimeter wall is made up of brackets and lattices that create a play of light and shadow, evoking different sensory experiences. Directly to the right of the entrance are the ancillary rooms overlooking the private garden. In addition to the ancillary rooms, the kitchen, the dining room and the living room are located on the ground floor. Following the passageway, a series of terraces and guest bedrooms sit above the surrounding nature and lead to the upstairs master bedroom.

practica arquitectura forms a vacation home with a central garden in mexico
The view of the interior from the entrance offers internal paths that connect the different rooms with the garden

add sustainable solutions

For this project, Practica Arquitectura tried to integrate sustainable solutions such as B. Solar panels for electricity, drainage with a controlled septic tank, irrigation from water catchment systems and natural absorption wells. They also optimized natural light and ventilation in all rooms. Finally, the vegetation ensures a stable and comfortable microclimate inside.

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