Santa Maria is a housing development located in a historic protected site in the heart of Valle de
Bravo, a small colonial city dating from 1530, which is 2 hours away from Mexico City. This
historic town has a strong physical context and is found in the outskirts of a man-made lake. Our
site is located a hundred yards from the church of Santa Maria Ahuacatlan, a colonial church that
dates back to the XVI century.
9 town houses and some amenities that provide an almost hotel-like experience. The overall
footage of the project is 2,433.00 sq. mts. and each of the town houses range between 168.00
and 251.00 sq. mts.
When confronted with such a beautiful and restricted context, we could do nothing but respect it,
trying to bring the most out of it by handling the physical aspects of the project with care. Most of
this aspects were given to us as regulations by the local authority: the materials involved, the
heights, the relationship with other buildings, the general layout, sizes and materials of doors,
From the very early stages of design, we tried to make a strong connection with the site by
responding to its topography, to the existing vegetation, to the views of the lake, to our
neighboring buildings, to the width of the streets, etc. Also we tried to make a more conceptual
connection by incorporating the flavor of the rich natural and rural landscape surrounding Valle
de Bravo. That´s why we decided to incorporate long trenches all along the project and fill them
with natural river stones and vegetation.
of evolution, where the new structure respectfully talks about the past, is firmly rooted in the
present and gives a sense of direction for the future. Maybe that´s why this project constantly
tries to be physically anchored to the ground and at the same time tries to float and fly away in
The main spatial configuration of the project consists on placing volumes along the two streets
that confine the site (which is a local regulation), and by placing the houses in an L shape. By
this, we could take advantage of the orientation and the views, and at the same time we were
able to generate a pool area (in the sense of a main patio), just like in the traditional houses
found in downtown Valle de Bravo.
The lower one includes the entrance, parking space, security guard room, garbage room, a small
service cafeteria, concierge room, accounting room, 36 small cellars, laundry, service bathrooms
and maintenance rooms.
The upper level includes a self contained corridor (in L shape) that runs all along the houses.
The purpose of this corridor is to become a buffer between the 9 houses and the pool area. The
pool area works both as an open and a contained space, having a sense of privacy towards the
houses, but opening up to the surrounding landscape. This area includes a wooden deck, a
jacuzzi, two pools, a space for making fires and a small garden. At the very end of the self
contained corridor, there is a small patio that brings light and calm to a yoga studio and a
up to the beautiful surroundings. All bedrooms have a considerable lower height than the living
rooms, that is because it is more efficient to heat such spaces and because we wanted to bring a
sense of warmth, protection and coziness from the cold and wet outdoor environment.
The lower floor of each house (except house number 5), includes a small lobby, 3 bedrooms and
two bathrooms.The upper floor of each house takes advantage of the height regulation, bringing
up an expansive space that offers great views towards the lake and the surroundings. On this
floor there is an open kitchen, living room, a private terrace, a small bathroom and a laundry
exterior walls should have a white plaster finish. Having such a neutral and beautiful background,
we decided to combine it with two more materials: natural stone and solid wood. So all around the
project (on the exterior areas and on the interior ones), there is white plaster, red burn plaster
(bathrooms), solid wood and natural grey stone. It was really important for us that such materials
were completely natural, because we wanted to infuse a natural, non urban experience.
Another important aspect of the project were the windows and doors. From the very early stages
of design, we were willing to use solid surfaces of wood on the facades. So for example, the
bedroom windows on the first floor, have movable solid panels of wood in the inside. These are
used as blinds during the day and as temperature insulators at night. This kind of solution was
commonly used long time ago in colonial houses.
All along the design process we tried to imbue the project with a sense of calmness, neutrality,
openness, privacy and contact with the surrounding landscape and cityscape. Living in a city like
Mexico City makes many people feel the urge to reconnect with nature, history and with
themselves. We really hope that with this project we can help some people achieve that goal.
•Project name: Santa Maria
•Place: Valle de Bravo, Mexico.
•Site area: 2,509.64 m2
•Built area: 2,269.00 m2, 24,423.31 sq ft.
•Design phase: 2007-2009
•Construction phase: 2008-2010
•Cost: $2,700,000.00 US dlls.
•Client: Inmobiliaria Sanmo SA de CV
•Co-Workers: Partner (Alejandro Villarreal), Project architect (Andrés Casares) and Co-
workers(Sugey Ramirez, Gabriela Rosas, Jesús Ramirez, Denisse Novelo and Arturo García
•Consultants: Structural Engineer (Moncad), Mechanic Engineer (M3 Ingeniería Integral),
Landscape Architecture (Ambiente Arquitectos), Lighting Consultant (LLC Iluminación), Interior
Design (Isabel Maldonado), Carpentry (Maderaje Arquitectónico)
•Photography: Fernando Cordero and Alejandro Villarreal
在设计的初期阶段，我们便试图通过与地形，现有植被，湖景，邻近建筑物，街道宽度等相呼应，使之与周围环境浑然一体。同时，我们还尝试着纳入Valle de Bravo周围的自然风光和农村景观的风格，使其更加统一。这就是为什么我们决定将项目沿线的沟渠连接起来，填上自然河流中的石块，并种上一样的植被。
•客户：Inmobiliaria Sanmo SA de CV公司
•合作人：合作伙伴(Alejandro Villarreal亚历杭德罗 维拉里尔)，项目建筑师(Andrés Casares安德烈 斯卡萨雷斯)和协作者(Sugey Ramirez苏雷 拉米雷斯，Gabriela Rosas加布里埃拉 罗萨斯Jesús Ramirez耶稣拉米雷斯，Denisse Novelo丹尼斯 诺维尔罗和Arturo García Crespo阿图罗 加西亚 克雷斯波)
•顾问：结构工程师(Moncad 蒙卡德)，机械工程师(M3 Ingeniería Integral)，景观建筑(Ambiente Arquitectos)，照明顾问(LLC Iluminación)，室内设计(Isabel Maldonado伊莎贝尔马尔多纳多)，木工(Maderaje Arquitectónico)
•摄影：Fernando Cordero费尔南多科德罗和Alejandro Villarreal亚历杭德罗 维拉里尔