These two houses are based on the same architectural logic and spatial order, have similar program, architectural language and materiality. The two houses look similar but are different, like two sisters are.
This pair of houses stem from an earlier draft of S-AR´s not built project called Conjunto JdV and in the house proposed for that previous idea.
In both cases the plots were descending on mountain slopes, so the houses are staggered along the slope creating a progressive increase in the high of the ground floor seeking to create a hierarchical sequence of spaces where social areas are higher and the service spaces are lower.
The stepped interior is released from the structure as much as possible (given the construction system) achieving an open space and a sequence of uninterrupted programs that begins in the access and the kitchen on the high part of the ground floor and finish into the living room and a small terrace and garden at the lower part. All social space is visually connected, barely separated by platforms and division pieces as interior railings or bars for service. Anyway the personal interactions are connected all the time.
The northern light enters through the large openings of the houses, which framed the social spaces. The interior walls painted in white and the reflecting finishing of the floors help to spread the natural lighting in the interior spaces.
Also on this level are the service areas as laundry and storage, with a separate and private circulation from the rest of the house, disappearing from the interior space.
The upper levels contain the private programs in each house: family room with terrace (either to the exterior or interior), master bedroom and two secondary bedrooms each one with their own services: bathroom and closets. There is also the structural preparation for rooftop terraces that can be used as a further extension for the houses.
The materiality of the houses is simple, reductive and economic, also adjusting natural lighting and ventilation strategies for indoor enclosures to this logic, under the idea of simplifying the energy consumption of the houses.
These two houses are based on the same architectural logic and spatial order, but are different enough to not be twins, hence their name: even maintaining similar programs, logic, architectural language and materiality, at the end the two houses look similar but are different, like two sisters are.
Project: Sister Houses (Casas Hermanas)
Location: Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Project Team: Cesar Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Garza, Maria Sevilla, Carlos Flores.
Collaborator: Berenice Reyna
Program: Private House
Construction area: 280 m2 each house
Project year: 2011
Construction year: 2012
Photography: Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal
Architectural drawings: Berenice Reyna
3D Model / Renders: Berenice Reyna
Model: Gabriela Villegas, Daniel Trevino
Technical supervision: S-AR
Construction: Mauricio Romero
Materials and constructive system: Concrete and concrete block walls, prefab slabs, metallic structures, aluminum windows, wood doors, ceramic floors.