Cadaval Sola-Morales’s Casa de la Roca in Mexico is the perfect forest retreat
If you’re after an idyllic nature retreat, look no further than the work of the Barcelona- and Mexico City-based architecture practice headed by Eduardo Cadaval & Clara Solà-Morales. The pair have been producing a number of striking residences over the last few years – such as their recent getaway made of volcanic stone – and Casa de la Roca, nestled in the deep forests of Mexico, is their latest offering.
The low-rise house is striking in its simplicity and synergy with nature – but it was really designed to be as subtle and discreet as possible, in order to let the surrounding leafy nature take centre stage. Designed as a holiday home, the house features three long ‘arms’. These wings house bedrooms in different configurations, while the point where they all join up – the structure’s heart – becomes the main living space, comprising an open-plan living and dining area, and a kitchen.
The structure’s black painted exterior helps it blend with the natural landscape. Photography: Sandra Pereznieto
The architects understandably wanted to maintain a strong connection between indoors and outdoors, so their strategy was simple; they treated each wing as a lookout point, while the living spaces are surrounded by large expanses of glass that keep the striking vistas visible throughout.
At the same time, the house is made of timber – remaining in sync with the forest’s materiality – and uses wood from fallen or dead trees found on site and in the wider area. The green roof helps camouflage the structure, while its black painted exterior goes one step further in making it blend with its context.
‘We used paint (and not dye), to add another layer of material protection; dye tends to lose its qualities over the years’, explain the architects. ‘It is black, responding to the desire to blend in with the landscape, seeking a certain anonymity in front of the vegetation and exuberant views.’ §