HNN House by Hernandez Silva Architects

Designed in 2013 by Hernandez Silva Architects, this modern two-story house is located in Zapopan, Mexico.

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Description by Hernandez Silva Architects

The field has an almost rectangular form with a light curvature at the back, the ground drops a few meters from the main entry towards the back; this led to an emplacement made up of two platforms, one at the street level and the other one located half level below which allowed to dismantle two separate blocks of construction linked by a yard where the stairs float and the platforms are knitted by a hall between flooring.

A main entrance is located on the street level, as well as the drawing room and space for four cars. The biggest emplacement is located half level below which contains the social areas of the house; first an intimate study that can be turned into an occasional bedroom, then a big central space crossed by a bridge in the middle containing the living room and the dining table becoming this the most dramatic part of the house. This area is open towards two directions, the inner yard which has a roof cover that unfolds for it to turn into outer space, and the backyard across it where the view is formed by the peak of the trees below and the skyline of Zapopan city center. Further, the kitchen is located on the other side of this social level which can be opened to integrate with the terrace; this is where the best perspective of the house is achieved, in fact it forms a “L” with no support so it embraces completely the backyard. Guests toilets are located underneath the kitchen and terrace, linked by stairs on the outside that descend very subtle among the open space of the western limitation of the house.

The house contains another inner and more private stair block which gives the freedom to independently circulate through the private areas of the house from the services below the garage to the kitchen, up to the bedrooms and other services.

Bedrooms are located in the last levels of the house scattered through two half levels. The main bedroom is made up of a floated volume where the most stunning view can be appreciated towards the urban hill; another bedroom is found on this half level. A few steps above, are the two other bedrooms opening to the south and the street; the path between these two bedrooms is sheltered by a wooden lattice that allows to see the inner yard but also keeps the privacy between the bedrooms and the social areas. The family room is also located on this last level which has folding doors that open to a double height from the main entry and also communicates directly with the inner yard on its side stand.

Among the materials used to build this house are stripped quarry walls in the inner yard, apparent concretes, parota wood almost on its entirely even though the stairs are forged with stripped oak. The colors are variations of gray, the apparent metallic structure has dark colors, the exteriors of the house have lighter colors and the interiors have more subtle variations of a warmer gray. All materials tried to be simple and hand manufactured.

Each one of these elements were individually chosen to design the house and accentuate de achievement of the main concept. It contrasts lightness and massiveness as the bridge is open to the inner yard and closed to the living room or the stairs that are integrated with crystal railings and contrast with a big wooden wall on the back.

All the furniture was specially projected for each space by maintaining the idea of having one only language through the whole body.

As trees existed before the construction, we tried to be respectful by integrating new garden areas which were carefully studied in each place.

Photography courtesy of Hernandez Silva Architects

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- by Matt Watts