Architecture and nature: The "Entrepinos "holiday complex
Architect: Hector Barroso Riba
Location: Valle de Bravo (MX)
Five identical holiday homes have come about in the midst of a picturesque pine grove, with each one being made up of several volumes. These are grouped around a central courtyard for intimacy and visual privacy. The volumes are positioned in such a way that they present a closed face to the north and open up to the south. Access to each house is provided on the more solid side. To the south, the patio seems to almost flow into the pine forest, and thanks also to its harmonious views has the character of a little oasis that is the perfect place to stop, take a deep breath and regenerate.
The individual units consist of single- or two-storey blocks built of earthenware brick, a material that acts not only as the structural but also the main design element, with all elevations characterised by the brick, which was produced out of soil from the immediate vicinity. The outer walls with their earthy hues circumspectly blend the houses into the surrounding landscape and establish a relationship with the locality. At the same time the sole use of brick as the façade material lends the project a uniform, modern touch. The blank featureless walls are breached again and again by large expanses of glass, seemly integrated into the walls in an almost seamless manner. In some cases they consist of full-height windows extending over two storeys, while in others they are executed in smaller sizes and frame the idyllic views.
Indoors the brick is complemented with structural lumber as used to enclose the large windows or, as in the case of the exposed ceiling beams, to lend the rooms structure. In general the architect Hector Barroso Riba has opted for wooden surfaces that create a feeling of warmth, as seen in the built-in kitchen furniture, door panels, benches and wall panelling, in an effect that brings the pine forest indoors. Plain stone floors round off the catalogue of materials, providing the interiors a cosy feel-good ambience.
The floor plan allots the ground floor to living, cooking and eating and is also the location of one of the bedrooms; the remaining three bedrooms are positioned upstairs. The terraces make the outdoors seem part of the house on the ground floor, with large windows creating a similar effect on the upper floor.