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Tepoztlan Lounge by Cadaval & Sola-Morales

Travellers visting the Mexican town of Tepoztlan can spend a few nights, months or even years at this three-armed concrete guesthouse by architects Cadaval & Sola-Morales (+ slideshow).

Cadaval & Sola-Morales designed the pavilion as the first in a series of new holiday homes in the town, which sits on the outskirts of Mexico City on the edge of the Tepoztlan mountain.

The building has three concave elevations that shape the boundaries of two patios at the back and an egg-shaped swimming pool at the front.

Walls slide back across each elevation, opening the building's central room out to the garden. "The lounge is set to be a central communal space for leisure in nature," explain the architects.

This concept is emphasised by the presence of two trees growing up through the floor and roof, which the architects planned the structure around.

Rooms are contained at the three corners of the building, so that a living room is at one end, a children's playroom is at another and a kitchen and two washrooms are in the third.

There are no beds in the building, only hammocks suspended across the lounge.

See more recent projects in Mexico, including a bone-like tower of concrete and a weekend house with a perforated facade.

Photography is by Sandra Pereznieto, apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's a project description from Cadaval & Sola-Morales:

Tepoztlan Lounge

Tepoztlan, is a small town nestled between rocky cliffs located to the south of Mexico City, 50 kilometers away from the vibrant metropolis. With its well preserved historic center and wild countryside, Tepoztlan is a town of legends and deep cultural roots that has been appreciated by writers, poets, artists and musicians over many decades, turning it into their hometown or weekend retreat. Located in this incredible context and surrounded by an astonishing landscape, the Tepoztlan Lounge is the first building completed of a larger project that also includes a series of bungalows of different sizes and designs, which can be rented by years, months or days.

The lounge is set to be a central communal space for leisure in nature, and is located in the perimeter of an incredible lawn; the idiosyncrasy of the project relies on enabling the experience of the carefully manicured lawn while promoting the experience of the wild nature existing in the boundaries of this central space. The project is a negotiation between interior and exterior, a construction of an in-between condition, an inhabitable threshold, which becomes the main space of the project; the limits between the open and the content space merge to produce a single architectural entity.

The design establishes three separate living quarters designed in accordance to the 3 activities planned; each of them is a set space defined by its use, but also by a very clear and simple architectural container: the first holds an open bar with a kitchenette, together with a couple of restrooms and dressing rooms; the second is a play area for children that can also be used as a reading room when temperatures drop at night; and finally the largest container is the living area, an enclosed, tempered and comfortable space for conversation, TV, etcetera. But it is the desire to give continuity between these three separate areas where the project is empowered and becomes meaningful; a continuous space, in full contact with the nature but protected from its inclemency is set up not only to expand the enclosed uses, but also to allow new activities to arise.

And it is through the definition of this central space, through the definition of its shape, that the contiguous courtyards are defined; those are as essential to the project as it is the built architecture, and allows constructing as a whole, single spatial experience. At the same time that the three built containers give continuity to the central space by mans of their use and space, the adjacent patios qualify it, while providing diversity and idiosyncrasy to open space. The design of the swimming pool is part of this same intervention, and responds to the desire to characterize the spaces; its formalization necessarily resonates the layout of the lounge, while incorporating to its nature the possibility of a multiplicity of ways of using water, and plunging on it.

The building is located as a plinth valuing the views of the mountains. The building wants to be respectful to the existing context, and understands that the vegetation and life at open air are the real protagonist. Two impressive trees that are in place are incorporated within the layout of the lounge, as if they were part of the program itself. The Tepoztlan Lounge is constructed in concrete not just for being a inexpensive and labor intensive material in Mexico and to minimize its maintenance, but also to expose its structural simplicity and neutrality towards the astonishing nature.

Above: photograph is by Diego Berruecos

Name of the project: Tepoztlán Lounge.
Name of the Office: Cadaval & Solà-Morales.
Project: Eduardo Cadaval & Clara Solà-Morales.
Collaborators: Eugenio Eraña Lagos, Tomas Clara, Manuel Tojal.
Structural Engineering: Ricardo Camacho de la fuente.
Location: Tepoztlán, Morelos, México.
Área: 250sqm.
Date: Project: 2009. Construction 2012

Above: site plan - click above for larger image

Above: floor plan - click above for larger image

Above: front elevation - click above for larger image

Above: east elevation - click above for larger image

Above: rear elevation - click above for larger image

Above: west elevation - click above for larger image