A cluster of white volumes rise above the dark concrete entrance of this house in Monterrey, which was designed by local studio Arquidromo.
Cloud House is located on a rectangular plot that was formerly a public right of way in the Mexican city, and is oriented at at 45-degree angle to the street in front.
Arquidromo said the unusual layout provided an opportunity to make a feature of the exposed, longer side walls that are commonly unseen. The firm’s response was to build the residence as an irregular stack of white cubes.
“Usually, lateral walls on this housing scale lack aesthetic intent and remain hidden in narrow, dark service corridors,” said the studio, “however, the irregular format of this lot enabled a lateral face of the building to be visible from the street, making it a fundamental part of the composition of the main facade.”
A dark, rough concrete frame at the front of the house aligns with the street and forms the residence’s garage. Vines grow up the walls inside, while its floor is covered with roughly textured concrete and river stones.
The contrastingly bright white main house, measuring 240 square metres, is built behind to align with the angle of the plot. Each of the volumes is a different size and arranged according to the functions inside, creating a sculptural shape that the studio likens to a cloud.
“The disorderly order of the composition is the result of the loose relationship between its parts, like the molecules of water in a cloud,” said the studio.
Cloud House has few openings visible from the street in order to maintain the residents’ privacy from their neighbours and passersby. Natural light is instead brought in by windows slotted at junctions between volumes and hidden by the overlapping cubes. There are also rooflights.
Among the main spaces inside is the central, double-height living room on the ground floor. Along one side, glazed doors open onto a narrow courtyard, while inside the volumes of surrounding rooms protrude into the space. All of the walls are plastered and painted white.
“This room is articulated by the continuity of voids generated between the white monoliths,” said the studio. “This is the heart of the house, the center of the cloud containing the social areas.”
The studio aimed to create a “rustic and cozy” interior. Wooden boards with a mixture of tones line the floors, and furniture is made of wood and metals to add warmth to the white backdrop.
The kitchen, which occupies a single-storey volume at the rear of the living room, features a stone-like counter.
A concrete staircase with a black metal handrail leads from the ground floor to a smaller living room on a mezzanine. Three bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms are located on the upper level, and are accessed from the mezzanine via a wooden staircase.
Photography is by Daniela Barocio.
Lead Architects: Beto Frías, Andrés M Campuzano and Danilo Medina
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