Dezeen Magazine

Exterior of Casa UC in Mexico

Tree grows through circular opening in courtyard canopy of Mexico house by Daniela Bucio Sistos

Mexican architect Daniela Bucio Sistos has created a red brick and coloured concrete house in Morelia, Mexico, that features round windows and a disc-shaped canopy over a courtyard.

Called Casa UC, the house is located on the outskirts of Morelia, the capital of the central state of Michoacán.

House in Mexico Daniela Bucio Sistos
Daniela Bucio Sistos used pigmented concrete and brick for Casa UC

It was designed by Daniela Bucio Sistos, who is founder of the local firm Daniela Bucio Sistos//Taller de Arquitectura y Diseño.

Situated on a long, trapezoidal site, the house consists of rooms arranged around courtyards and pathways.

Tree growing through oculus in a courtyard canopy of a house in Mexico
An inner courtyard connects rooms in Casa UC

The home is largely opaque on the front and sides to preserve privacy and reduce noise.

The main facade is found on the east, where the architect placed a solid, brick wall fronted by a paved area for cars. A metal framework helps shade the parking spots.

Tree growing though roof of Casa UC by Daniela Bucio Sistos
A tabachin tree grows through an oculus in the round canopy

"Casa UC doesn't say much on the outside," the architect said. "The main entrance is tucked at the end of the textured partition wall that runs along most of the front of the property."

The entryway leads to a courtyard at the heart of the residence.

Porthole window in coloured concrete wall of Casa UC
Round glazed windows are set into pigmented concrete walls

Above the open-air space is a round canopy with a circular cutout at its centre, allowing a tabachin tree planted underneath to grow right through the opening.

"The circular foyer is the guiding axis of the residence, and symbolically it is taken as the starting point for the radial floor that runs throughout the project," the architect said.

Outdoor/indoor living area of house in Mexico by Daniela Bucio Sistos
Bricks were laid to create a textured surface on walls

Arranged around this vestibule are enclosures made of red brick, pigmented concrete and glass. The bricks were laid in a non-flush manner, alternating between protruding and receding – resulting in walls with a textured appearance.

The 550-square-metre residence encompasses four bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, a living room, and a library.

Two large, circular windows were incorporated into the residence and align with the central courtyard.

One of the glazed apertures is adjacent to an interior patio, while the other is found in the library. Both pivot open and closed.

Round glass door between bookshelves in Casa UC by Daniela Bucio Sistos
A round glass door pivots open to the library

At the back of the home, the residence opens onto a sheltered patio. A curving ramp leads from the living room down to a rear garden lined with a row of cypress trees.

Neutral colours and tactile materials are found throughout the dwelling, including raw concrete and honey-toned caobilla wood.

Wooden dining table of Casa UC in Mexico
Daniela Bucio Sistos used parota wood for the dining table

Rooms are fitted with contemporary yet earthy decor, such as a live-edge parota dining table with chairs wrapped in leather.

The architect sought to create an atmosphere that promoted contemplation and engaged one’s different senses, not just sight.

"Casa UC was always thought as a walkable residence – that when walking through it, the change of textures and scales would make it a space away from the ocularcentrism and more linked to a sensitive interaction with the user," the architect said.

Bedroom of house in Mexico with pigmented concrete walls
Neutral colours feature in the interiors

Other homes in Morelia include a white house by Jaime Juárez R Arquitecto that consists of splayed and stacked volumes, and a residence by HW Studio that borrows from the steps and plazas found in traditional Spanish architecture.

Photography is by Dane Alonso and Mariano Renteria Garnica.

Project credits:

Architect: Daniela Bucio Sistos//Taller de Arquitectura y Diseño
Architect in charge: Daniela Bucio Sistos
Construction: Daniela Bucio Sistos, Edel Hernández
Other participants: Isabel Molina Plaza, Gonzalo Nares Vázquez, Jimena Eslava Ramírez

More images and plans

Plans for Casa UC by Daniela Bucio Sistos
Floor plan
Plans for Casa UC by Daniela Bucio Sistos
Roof plan
Plans for Casa UC by Daniela Bucio Sistos
Plans for Casa UC by Daniela Bucio Sistos