Ochre House by Chain + Siman

Ochre House is a rustic residence located in Mexico City, Mexico, designed in 2020 by Chain + Siman.

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Casa Ocre is a two-story residence situated in the heart of Mexico City that combines modern elements with touches of rustic design to create an exquisite balance.

The owners were looking to build a home for their growing family. They already had a plot in place: a piece of land overlooking the city, limited by a steep slope in two sides. The house had to comply with a very strict regulation due to the subdivision where it is located.

The structure employed both reinforced concrete as well as partition walls, with a foundation based on footings and load-bearing walls. The exterior walls, as well as some of the interior walls, are clad with gray quarry stone of different lengths, whose texture offers a contrast with the cement-sand finishes in the neutral tones of the rooms.

The project is designed so that light pours in from two directions, containing the space and bathing the interior with constant natural light. The large, mullioned windows in each room imbue the surroundings with a classic touch; these combine with the furniture and oak adorning the floors and ceilings to create a cozy ambience.

One of the biggest challenges in the project was to design around the best possible views, since the property is bordered on two sides by a large slope. For this reason, the house was distanced as much as possible from the slope with a gravel patio, which serves as a garden.

The interiors and furniture were bespoke, and smart systems for lighting, audio and video, in addition to the heating and automation system, were all custom designed. The kitchen floor, for example, is a design created with laser-cut iron and cast concrete. The different objects that were selected for the space, as well as the light fixtures for the dining room, the decorative pieces on the walls or the black steel detailing in the furnishings, complement the warm color palette that invigorates the project.

It was important that the project included several different environments and separate spaces, since it is for a family of five. Both the kitchen and the gardens played an important role for the clients, since they really like to cook and often entertain guests.

The space is comprised of a continuous dialogue between light, materiality and outdoor vegetation, creating a fluid environment. The terraces strengthen the connection between the first floor and the garden, which seems to flow naturally into the ground floor with a covered deck for outdoor activities. A staircase that wraps around a tree in a double-height space, with a picture window that directly overlooks the grove, articulates the different levels of the house.

The bedroom area is completely independent from the social area located on the ground floor. The family TV room connects the three bedrooms and serves as a pivoting point for the private areas. The sloped oak ceilings in the bedrooms provide the space with breadth; in the main bedroom, this feature is accentuated through the continuity between the generous dressing room and a private terrace overlooking the front garden. It has its own fireplace and a bathroom with a bathtub, also with high hipped ceilings.

The daughter’s bedroom, also with sloped high ceilings, has a work area with a big desk, a walk in dressing room and bathroom, as well as access to the terrace overlooking the front garden. The third bedroom is shared by the two boys and decorated with a gray palette; they both have their own desk under high ceilings with the same sloped wooden clad high ceilings as well as a shared bathroom and dressing room overlooking the backyard.

The couple wanted to have each their office/workspace with independent access since working from home was something they did even before the pandemic hit. They also wanted a playroom for the children (2 boys and 1 girl) and a TV room, as watching games and sports with family and friends is a common occurrence.

Throughout the interior, the use of oak wood tones, quarry stone, furnishings, and natural light creates a play of ochre tones, a quality that gives the project its name.

Photography by Rafael Gamo

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- by Matt Watts