Taller Héctor Barroso envisions Valle de Bravo houses as "silent architecture"

Mexican studio Taller Héctor Barroso has used concrete, wood and brick to create a series of holiday homes that merge with the wooded landscape and “allow nature to act in the intimacy of the home”.

The small residential complex – called Los Helechos, or The Ferns – is located in Valle de Bravo, a scenic area that is a couple hours by car from Mexico City.

Los Helechos by Taller Hector Barroso
Taller Hector Barroso has created a series of holiday homes in Mexico. Top photo by Jaime Navarro

The 1,150-square-metre complex consists of four identical houses that sit side by side on a sloped property within Rancho Avándaro, a golf and recreational community.

The architecture studio designed the homes to integrate with the tree-studded landscape and to enable nature to flow indoors.

A courtyard with multiple plains
The four residences sit side by side on a slope

“Los Helechos is a group of houses designed to allow nature to act in the intimacy of the home, creating a silent architecture to accompany the beauty of their gardens,” said Taller Hector Barroso, a studio based in Mexico City.

“The four houses stealthily adapt to the steep slope of the terrain, respecting the existing topography and vegetation to minimize their impact on the site,” the studio added.

An armchair placed next to fireplace
Each house faces a central courtyard. Photo by Jaime Navarro

Each house has two levels and a basement. The homes are C-shaped in plan and feature rectilinear volumes arranged around a central courtyard filled with native plants.

“The houses look inward through a central courtyard that becomes a space of transition and contemplation – an area between public and private, allowing the entire house to maintain a direct relationship with nature,” the team said.

To construct the buildings, the team used concrete, pine and red brick plastered with soil-based stucco. Windows are framed with ipe wood, and a pergola is made of laminated pine.

Interior finishes include oak doors and stucco-covered walls, along with floors covered in cantera – a type of stone that came from a local quarry.

Room with exposed wooden beams
The studio used concrete, pine and red brick plastered with stucco for finishes. Photo by Jaime Navarro

The ground level encompasses two bedrooms and a mix of indoor and outdoors spaces for cooking, dining and lounging. The upper level contains two bedrooms, and the basement holds storage space and a garage.

Founded in 2011, Taller Hector Barroso has completed a range of projects around its home state of Mexico, such as a caramel-coloured apartment complex in Mexico City and a stark tennis venue in Los Cabos made of rammed earth.

The photography is by César Béjar unless otherwise stated

Project credits:

Architect: Héctor Barroso
Team: Alan Rojas, Alice Moreno, Paloma Sánchez, Salvador Saracho

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