M-G Estudio: Casa Escondida is an architectural project located in Saltillo, Coahuila, north of Mexico. Three core principles merged together to develop this project.
The first objective was to design a house with excellent quality in their areas, materials, and equipment, raising existing standards and questioning the status quo of the current housing offering. One of the main challenges was to design flexible spaces that would serve a wide diversity of people, families, and inhabitants with various habits and life routines.
The second idea we kept in mind while designing Casa Escondida was to redefine the usual architectonic process for real estate and find opportunities in their areas that allowed us to have versatile spaces. For instance, we challenged the notion of a conventional garage, a space where several square-footage has one use only. With this in mind, we set out to work on the architectural plan towards integrating such a space with social areas in the main storey.
Based on this idea, we designed a long volume to come up with an open social area, in which the backyard, the living-dining room area, and the garage could be converted into a single space through a system of sliding doors embedded in the walls which gave way to the unification of these spaces under an innovative concept.
The wide front of the land allowed us to create a concept where openness will not go unnoticed while privacy reigns in the social areas and at the back end of the house.
We sought to design a house that would create a community so that the family that inhabits this space can open the doors to the street and go back in time to life as it was before in the neighborhoods, where people knew each other and took care of each other, where they took out their rocking chairs on the sidewalk and life was created in the street.
The third intention has to do with materiality. Being a project designed for a non-specific client, we allowed ourselves certain liberties and for us, it is important that there is experimentation in terms of construction methods. We created a base of exposed concrete walls looking for a robust almost brutalist sense, which in a certain way felt like a pre-existence on the site. In the upper storey, in which rooms are located, we placed a more translucent box.
It was important to always preserve the spatial relationship between different levels through cuts in the slabs and openings, and to achieve that same relationship with the context, always incorporating natural light. The house also has an exit to the roof from which you can behold the views offered by the city.
The idea behind Casa Escondida is to be a blank canvas, laying the foundation so that the future family that inhabits the house can make it their own, complement it and transform it.