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Entre Pinos

Hector Barroso, Filmatica

Among the leaves.


This is part of a series of videos featuring winners and finalists from the 2019 Simon Architecture Prize.

In a forest area in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, Taller Hector Barroso has realized five holiday villas. Here, disguised as they were in the middle of a clearing, among the pines and the leaves, these buildings stand still, surrounded only by nature and silence.

The video by Filmatica for the Simon Architecture Prize 2019 focuses on the relationship between these two presences, the environment on a side and the holiday houses on the other one. As the film starts, the rain is falling, the leaves are moving, lulled by the wind: there's no one else around. Then, only when the sky is clear, we see someone starting to sweeping his path or someone else waking up and looking outside the window. The first impression is of a sacred space, a place of coexistence.

Architecture here is meant to disturb as little as possible the environment, to become part of it - i.e. the houses are deeply rooted in the landscape and constructed out of local materials such as brick, wood and the soil itself -, but this shouldn't mean that such architecture should be disadvantageous or unconfortable to its inhabitants. Actually, it's the opposite: Taller Hector Barroso, just by tilting the houses and dispersing them into volumes, make the sense of a set of houses to be lost. Houses become a cluster of masses, immersed in the vegetation, way closer to the human scale. The compositional scheme of such independent volumes creates a central void, but this courtyard is more similar to a clearing that to a piazza, a central courtyard that grants views, silence and intimacy.

Taller Hector Barroso comments the design of the buildings, saying "This compositional scheme of independent volumes, creates a sequence of spaces the does not follow a straightforward linear path, instead, the inhabitant can saunter and linger, feeling different atmospheres in each space". This composition allows each volume to work almost independently, avoiding hierarchies and incorporating the architectural program.

The video also helps us in understanding how this hierarchy-free architecture works: on the lower floor we find a living and dining room, climbing the stairs we find another communal space (such as a livingroom) with a kitchen and a first bedroom. On the upper floor, three bedrooms are placed, creating intimate spaces that frame the views to the magnificent pine trees. As always, Filmatica proves itself to perfectly capture the ambience of a space as this. The video closes on the courtyard, where people are dining together and taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Hector Barroso
Mentioned project: Entre Pinos (2018)
Project location: Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Mexico 2018
Duration: 3'05"