Swiss Residence in Mexico / Fruehauf, Henry & Viladoms + BlancasMoran
Text description provided by the architects. The Swiss Residence is located in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood in northwest Mexico City and is characterized by tree-lined avenues that house prestigious residences. Topography is a geographical element that strongly defines the site. The ravines create abundantly wooded natural corridors. The residence is located right at the bending point between Paseo de la Reforma Avenue and the Dolores Ravine.
The project sits on an elongated plot with strong topography. Its upper part is linked to the busy Paseo de la Reforma. At the other end, it descends in a succession of terraces to the Dolores stream, 36 meters below.
For normative reasons, the residence precisely respects the footprint of the former residence. While the geometry of the surrounding buildings is clearly defined by a plot perpendicular to the avenue, the layout of the project is oblique, the plan is a parallelogram which occupies the width of the plot.
A platform, the height of which is defined by the access from the street, forms the base of the residence. On three of its sides, concrete walls insulate from the surrounding noise and provide a calm and serene atmosphere to the enclosure. This feeling of calm is reinforced by the omnipresence of the plant element. On the avenue side, the wall becomes a façade. A horizontal folding gives it an austere, intriguing and sophisticated presence.
Both inside and outside the residence, the floor is light gray terrazzo. Two concrete slabs run from wall to wall and are supported by blocks of black granite that contain the service spaces. Vegetation is ubiquitous along the path leading from the access courtyard through the house and into the garden below.
Between the blocks are the common living areas, where the visual relationship with the outside is continuous. Large swing doors in eucalyptus wood regulate the level of privacy in each space. A generous staircase provides a comfortable transition to the garden platform. A succession of cascading plateaus ensures a smooth transition to the natural environment of the ravine.