Casa Erasto is conceived as a continuation of Chapultepec forest in a 470 sqm plot. Space is contained by glass, surrounded by a garden that connects the interior to the forest nearby. A slowly developing ramp, contained by a rusted steel roof and a black volcanic floor, gives entrance to the residence. The path to the ground level floor begins the process of entering an urban house amongst nature. The ground floor allocates the public program of the residence. It opens completely and brings the garden into the library, the living room, and the kitchen. A continuous slab with no interruptions except for one. A concrete core that pierces upwards and grows through the levels above. The two upper floors are bedrooms that peek out to the treetops. The roof carries a garden that serves as an observatory and contemplative area partly shaded by a wooden pergola. When seen from above, the dwelling is perceived as an uninterrupted vegetated plot that stands out from its urban context.
A house that constantly reveals how it was built by letting the structure and the installations remain visible. The only structure is a 6x6 m concrete core that rises 12 m tall. The core is the house itself. It contains all the installations, the stairs and the most intimate areas of the house. Four vertical openings in each floor create apertures of natural light, ventilation and views towards the garden. They are controlled by pivoting iron plates that can be manually rotated as required.
The rest of the indoor spaces are glass surrounded terraces that emerge and float from the core. These terraces are 9x14 m slabs that extend from the vertical structure allowing continuous horizontal planes with double axis cantilevers. All frames are made from raw steel and glass reducing the section of windows to a minimum. These elements repeat every 88 cm and generates a rhythm that gives a sense of verticality to the space. Simultaneously, this makes the house more flexible allowing the user to locally control its porosity.
Gardens make space more abstract, profound, and compact. A bamboo perimeter was planted to blur the limits of the plot. The walls that separate the house from the neighbors were treated with green stucco and then with a spread of black soil to invite moss to develop a green wall throughout the years. A water body, a weeping willow, jacarandas, atenuatas, ferns, stipas, and pampa grass amongst others, introduce unique textures, colors, and visual marks. The garden constantly changes the landscape and the interactions the user has with its surroundings. A house that acknowledges a changing landscape with materials that are equally affected by the passing of time.
We believe in the importance of craftsmanship and detail. A house that started as a sketch and ended up as a home. Everything in this project was designed, drawn, re-drawn, and built by our office.