S | A Architectural Partnership fuse old and new styles in chic private residence in Mexico
SA House is located at El Campanario Golf & Country Club, in Queretaro, Mexico. This neighbourhood is thought to be the most renowned and exclusive of its kind in a city where Colonial architecture has prevailed for almost 400 years. Queretaro is a city confined within a valley and surrounded by small mountains and hills. El Campanario lies on the top of a big hill at the southeast part of the city.
This project lies over a property that has been highly damaged by erosion with a height difference between its highest and lowest points of about 18ft; as a consequence the design consists of various platforms or sublevels that integrate all the different spaces that were required by the owners of the house. An important aspect in the design of the SA house was to emphasise the views to the lower part of the property where an ecological reserve, a small artificial lake and many acres of green, beautiful landscapes emerge within the hills.
All service rooms are arranged on the first platform or ground level, such as the garage, laundry, storage rooms and cleaning areas. Also, the access porch and a small entry hall give us a warm welcome to the house. Passing the staircase and a walkway with a view to an outdoor patio, there is a big double height foyer that forms the centre of the project and works as a connecting point between public and private spaces. Over this platform lie the great room (dining/living), a cosy family room, an elevated terrace and a spacious kitchen. Most of these rooms have views to the central patio where an old Sauce tree projects its shadow during summer days.
All the private spaces such as the master bedroom and the kids' and guests' rooms are located on the second floor and are connected through a corridor with views to the patio and foyer. When building this project, S | A Architectural Partnership tried to integrate a modern house in a context where colonial and traditional materials are the main architectural elements of city and neighbourhood design. They found that most appropriate solution was to use natural elements such as stone and cantera from around the town, travertine marble, black cantera and Tzalam wood; all these materials combined with white walls as canvas and steel framing resulted in a high end residence for a modern family.