Amezcua transforms cave into subterranean addition for Mexico City dwelling


Rugged partitions, domed ceilings and reflective surfaces characteristic on this underground lair that was designed by Mexican studio Amezcua for an present 1960s residence on a hill.

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

The challenge, referred to as Photocatalytic Cave, was constructed beneath a home simply west of Mexico Metropolis, in a hilly space the place it’s common to seek out caves dug for the extraction of sand. The house belongs to a co-owner of the true property firm MM, who desired an underground area the place he may host events or spend time alone.

Native studio Amezcua got down to create a “liveable, enduring and mutable” area that labored in live performance with the consumer’s above-ground residence.

The home was designed a half-century in the past by postmodern architect Manuel Rocha Díaz in collaboration together with his consumer, sculptor Ernesto Paulsen. The residence options a big, convex ceiling that’s lined with hundreds of items of oak.

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

For the design of the subterranean area, Amezcua drew upon the house’s vocabulary, together with the upscale residences constructed by MM in Mexico Metropolis. The architects additionally thought of the usage of caves by early people.

“It’s there, within the cave, the place we discover the primary refuge of man in historical past, characterised by being a spot with little or no gentle, restricted air flow and excessive humidity,” the group mentioned in a challenge description. “On the similar time, it was a secure place – a naturally fortified refuge the place a person can isolate himself from the world, be protected against the climate and socialise in tranquility.”

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

Encompassing 70 sq. metres, the addition contains 5 chambers, every with a definite operate. One chamber accommodates a kitchen and bar, whereas an adjoining room homes the lounge and a media space.

A 3rd chamber encompasses a eating space and entry to a balcony, and a fourth accommodates wine storage and area for smoking and sipping espresso. The ultimate chamber homes a rest room and is hid behind a mirrored door within the kitchen.

The challenge concerned a number of key steps. Throughout step one, which involved the structural system, the group put in steel lintels – just like these utilized in coal mines – and supporting columns. The second step concerned carving the roofs and forming the domed ceilings, which switch the structural load to perimeter partitions.

The third step addressed the potential for micro organism and fungi to type because of the presence of humidity and limestone. In response, the group used passive methods, comparable to anti-corrosive supplies and pure air circulation, whereas additionally incorporating “energetic” gear comparable to air injectors, dehumidifiers and heaters.

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

The area has a fluid structure and a mixture of uncooked and modern finishes. Carved limestone partitions are paired with wooden floors, shiny surfaces and darkish and light-weight cabinetry. Rooms are fitted with up to date furnishings that may accommodate areas with irregular dimensions.

Within the residing space, the group positioned a curved, leather-based couch that follows the form of the wall, together with picket blocks that function help tables or movable benches. Within the kitchen, the group put in cabinetry manufactured from wooden, copper and mirrors.

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

On the coronary heart of the addition is the lounge and kitchen, that are separated by a partition formed like a calla lily flower. The sculptural partition is wrapped in white panels of Krion – a composite materials with photocatalytic properties that may assist diffuse gentle and purify the air, based on the agency.

The identical materials was used to create a glowing set up that hangs over the eating room desk. Along with illuminating the area, the piece “emulates the impact of an x-ray, exhibiting a sequence of blocks positioned by the proprietor – every carrying a written intention”. The set up was created with artist Emilio García Plascencia.

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

The architects labored with one other artist – Rodolfo Díaz Cervantes of Taller Tornel – to create the washbasin within the lavatory. Constructed onsite utilizing marbled concrete, the piece has a textural floor that references geological layers.

Revealing the cave’s evolution over time was one of many challenge’s main targets.

Photocatalytic Cave MM by Amezcua

“Its magnificence is in its nature and the studying of time noticed within the strata of its partitions,” the architects mentioned. “It’s a area that awakens the instinct and probably the most primitive needs of males.”

Different subterranean areas embody a Manhattan espresso bar by Only If Architecture that options metallic paint and black rubber, and a cave-like art gallery by Open Architecture that’s carved right into a sand dune in Qinhuangdao, China.

is by Jaime Navarro.


Mission credit:

Architect: Amezcua
Design group: Gabriela Mosqueda, Aarón Rivera, Rodrigo Lugo, Miguel González, Saraí Cházaro, Víctor Cruz, María García, Mauricio Miranda, Julio Amezcua
Developer: MM Desarrollos
Strong floor inside lining: Krion Okay-Life by Porcelanosa
Thermoformed Krion-Life and set up coordination: Embodied
Inside lighting: Luz en Arquitectura
Out of doors lighting challenge and luminaires: Mild Moxion
Pedestal and concrete sink in lavatory: Taller Tornel
Concrete furnishings: JM Construcciones
Listone Giordano flooring (provide and set up) and Mafi desk: Forte/Soldesi
Leisure system: Stylus Audio & Video



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