The Mexico-City based architecture firm Taller Hector Barroso snatched up a 2018 AZ Awards for Best in Architecture Residential Single Family Residential Interiors for its design of five weekend-houses in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, that is often surrounded by snow-clad mountains. The structure of the five small identical buildings in the middle of a pine tree forest fits nicely into the topography of the valley. Completed in 2017, the three-bedroom houses and terraces incorporate silence and intimacy. Consisting of six volumes, as described by Barroso, that are positioned in a way to create a central patio or void guarantee privacy and a calming effect on the inhabitants. The north walls are all solid while the south open up to the terraces and gardens. The full-height windows invite natural lighting into the interior space. The use of regional and local materials such as brick, wood, and soil give the buildings an earthy warmth that is lightly contrasted by the natural stone floors. The ground floor comprising the living room, kitchen and one bedroom is built to integrate the environment and merge the lines between the exterior and the interior as it almost a seamlessly transcendence into the patio area. The upper floor with the remaining bedrooms provides serene, beautiful views of the pine forest. Barroso and his team of architects focus on using natural resources in the places they are working. In Valle de Bravo, they reused excavation soil to cover the outer walls of the structures. It creates a feeling of building the houses from the ground. Another important element in the design is the play of light and shadow that enhance the depth of the experience while in the space. Obviously, nature is a further accent in the award-winning designs that make them unique and of extraordinary habitable quality. The harmony of land and geography artfully woven into the structures makes this 1,700 square-meter vacation estate stand out.
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