Tadao Ando's Casa Monterrey nestles
against a hillside in Mexico


This house in Mexico by Japanese architect Tadao Ando boasts a swimming pool that projects from a hillside and concrete walls that frame views of the Sierra Las Mitras mountains (photos by Edmund Sumner + slideshow).

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

Located west of Monterrey in the rocky landscape of the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, Casa Monterrey was designed by Tadao Ando to accommodate a family.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

The three-storey building centres around a double-height library that stretches diagonally through the centre of the plan. Fronted by glazing, this frames a pair of water-filled triangles at the centre of the house.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

The rest of the building is divided up into two wings – the first contains the family's main living, dining and sleeping spaces, while the second functions as the main entrance and accommodates a guest bedroom and a gallery.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

The house is built into the hillside, which allowed the architect to create a volume where various horizontal and vertical concrete plains emerge from the landscape at different heights and positions.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

One concrete wall features a large rectangular opening, framing views towards the distant mountains. Another concrete surface runs alongside to create a poolside terrace.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

The swimming pool extends out from one side of the building and cantilevers over the edge of a hillside towards the horizon.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

Most of the family rooms are arranged around the two triangular pools, and include a large open-plan living room, a wine cellar and a home gym. The master bedroom and living room are both located at the base of the building and open out to the swimming pool terraces.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando, who is best-known for projects in Japan such as Row House and Church of the Light, also recently completed another building in Mexico – a school of art, design and architecture for the University of Monterrey.

Casa Monterrey house in Mexico by Tadao Ando

Photography is by Edmund Sumner.

  • james

    While beautifully executed, I’m not sure I’d identify this as a house without being told it was one. I see a bunch of places that might be nice to move through, but no places where I’d like to be for any period of time.

  • janine

    Floor plans?

    • Burakhan Şahin


  • mitate

    Oh Tadao, you didn’t need all that cantilevered pool stuff. And what about your sublime Japanese concrete; how did that translate? But worth the effort for the setting alone. And love the nod to Neutra.

    • Oilgun

      The pool is sublime.

      • mitate

        It would be sublime if it wasn’t saying: look how clever I am, hanging right out over this twenty or thirty metre drop.

    • Misfits Architecture

      Cantilevered pools feature a lot in the history of unbuilt architecture. Arthur Miller (famous anyway but often better known as one of Marilyn Monroe’s husbands), once commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a house for him and the missus but decided to let the project lapse when FLW proposed a cantilevered swimming pool. There’s a book, “Frank Lloyd Wright: Recollections by Those Who Knew Him”. Miller thought Frank’s proposal for the cantilevered swimming pool was a sign of him ltrying-it-on just to justify his inflated sense of self-worth. Miller let the project die.

  • Sure it looks like a nice composition, but Monterrey has a changing climate during a single day and the design doesn’t seems to contemplate that.

  • Chris MacDonald

    Back on form! I didn’t like the last project I saw of his. Love this, and would love some plans and sections.

  • Mr Walnut Grey

    The structure, setting and space are both exacting and beautiful. In fact I could cry just looking at it. Stunning!

  • Rodrigo Tello

    And it doesn’t solve any problem, but to have a cool house. That’s it.

    • amsam

      For many people, the lack of a cool house is a large problem that needs solving. :)

      • Rodrigo

        That’s not a real problem.

  • Erwin


  • Kenneth Smythe

    This house does not feel like a home but an exercise in architectural display.

  • Architect Dr. Ami Ran

    Superfluous? Well we too often forget that a house is built to answer certain needs of the user, not merely to pad the architect’s ego. Keep running, Tadao, you are doing it quite well.
    Architect Dr. Ami Ran. Editor in Chief AI

  • Maybe it was requested by the client?

    • mitate

      I think the client would have to offer a ‘flawless’ argument.

      • Yongsoo nathan Jang

        Can I see your design?

  • Dominusfecit

    This looks like the home of a Bond villain.

    • amsam

      In the best way!

  • saha

    Waking up to the view of a smog layer covering Monterrey almost every day? No thanks. The house is awesome, but the location has a severe drawback.