A zero-emission shelter in Mexico that combines a house and a studio with no electricity connection

Robert Hutchison Architecture + JSa collaborated on Rain Harvest Home, an isolated development located in the southern mountains of Valle Bravo, about two hours west of Mexico City.

Located in a nature reserve, the project combines a house, an architecture studio and a public bath, all designed to work in harmony with the local climate.

The refuge, which operates without connection to the electricity grid, has a photovoltaic solar installation and a local water treatment and storage system, which makes it possible to make the most of the humid and rainy summers and the extremely dry winters. of the region.

The refuge offers a new model for the use and conservation of water in a region and a country where it is an increasingly precious resource.

Rain Harvest Home

Robert Hutchison Architecture (here) + JSa’s (here) Zero Emission Shelter is designed to work in harmony with the surrounding nature and local climate. Strategically located to offer views towards the Toluca Volcano, the project combines a dwelling, a separate bath and a studio.

Designed as a pavilion that allows year-round outdoor use, the residence sits on a raised concrete plinth clad in local volcanic stone. This plinth acts as a platform for indoor and outdoor spaces, while a floating green roof is supported by a perimeter colonnade of steel columns.

A short walk from the house is the free-standing bathhouse, which combines design references from Louis Kahn’s Trenton Bathhouse and Bramante’s Tempietto.

The circular structure encloses four different bathing activities: hot bath, sauna, steam shower and sink. All rooms surround a cold swimming pool in the center which is open to the sky. The set is completed by a compact studio worthy of an architect, benefiting from an open-air space just above its breezy entrance. This double-height building is lit by a single large north-facing window that frames a view of the Toluca Volcano to the north.

Architects: Robert Hutchison Architecture & JSa

Photographs: Cesar Bejar, Benedikt Fahlbusch, Alberto Kritzler, Jaime Navarro

Leave a Comment