I’m slightly … okay, maybe not so slightly … schizophrenic when it comes to the kinds of homes I like. Last week I was in love with a postage-stamp sized four floor walkup in the middle of Paris, but this week I want to be in the hills of Mexico, far far away from anyone.
The client for GG House is a middle-aged bachelor—and maybe a middle-aged married homo couple?—who wanted a weekend house, in a clearing, in a forest, on a property, on a mountain. He wanted a private space that could be completely open.
So the house was sited on a steep hillside overlooking a plain between the mountains and the Colima volcano in the distance, visible above the tops of the oaks. The rugged landscape was a determining factor in the layout of the project, which was designed on a series of terraces carved into the hillside and linked by a zigzag path.
When you arrive by car, the property is accessed from the highest point and you travel along a path that cuts the slope downhill towards a garage that sits on an intermediate terrace sunk into the hillside.
The roof of the house, the first facade that confronts the visitor, is seen between trees as an exposed concrete slab covered with gravel, and reveals the broken profile of the building. You climb a set of granite steps and find the façade of the home, looking a little like a butterfly.
The home is lined with a lacquered steel plate that will age at whim, lose its luster and will oxidize, changing in the same way its surroundings do; that change will leave a trail of oxide on the stone that will eventually be confused with red earth.
The house was designed as a rectangle inserted into the ground. The entrance is at the center, the low point of the roof, to break the elongated proportions of the building. The butterfly shape of the house allows for ample terraces at either end to take in the views.
The entrance lobby traverses the building and breaks it into two equal blocks. At the end of the west block there is a terrace clad in cumarú — often called Brazilian teak — suspended above the ground, and connected to the master bedroom through a window. The rest of this end of the home includes two guest bedrooms, each one with its own bathroom, a guest bathroom and laundry area.
The east side of the home houses the living room, dining room and kitchen, all in one large space connected via retractable window panels, with a roof terrace that reflects the exterior at the other end and appears to float above the ground.
It’s so Zen … especially after a week in Paris.