Scope | Issue 144
Sin Nombre Casa y Galeria , San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Scope | Issue 144
Sited in a densely packed neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, Sin Nombre Casa y Galeria is a direct reaction to its surroundings and context. San Miguel de Allende carefully preserved historic core of 16th-century origins is a UNESCO World Heritage site characterized by pastel- washed buildings with colonial facades and stone colonnades lining cobblestone streets. The compact 64-block city center, formally arranged along a more precise grid, dissolves into surrounding labyrinth-like roads that irradiate uphills, giving way to a more chaotic urban fabric. It’s on one of the picturesque slopes in San Miguel that the house is built, on a trapezoidal lot measuring roughly 19 by 12 meters.
The design draws from vernacular Mexican architecture, with hidden courtyards tucked inside many buildings, which has been reinterpreted with the architects’ distinctive minimal style and influenced by references to some masters, ranging from Luis Barragán and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The main concept is to work with an apparently monolithic volume that accommodates a series of microcosms. The muted enclosure, not unlike those facing narrow alleyways in the neighborhood, is a boundary between the exterior and the interior and features private outdoor spaces that offer a sense of repose and tranquility.
Past the doorway, we enter the actual living quarters that spill out on the opposite side of the entrance facade to an enclosed triangular patio. A spiral staircase, on axis with the door, hints at the continuity between the urban journey and the internal path of the residence. It marks the transition between the kitchen to the right and the dining area and living room to the left. The living room with fireplace is sunken with built-in sofas also of a neutral material palette to give a calm and peaceful aesthetic to the space. On the second floor, the two bedrooms — each with private bathroom and walk-in closet — open to the light and air through their own enclosed private patios. The main event is the ascent to the rooftop terrace that affords unobstructed 360 degree views to the city. An unexpected surprise in an apparently inward-looking building, one that puts people back in touch with their surroundings.
Principal Architects：Nicolò Galeazzi and Martina Salvaneschi
Structural Engineering：Roberto Navarrete
Total Floor Area：240㎡
Principal Materials：Concrete．Lime-based plaster．Microcement
Photos：© Associates Architecture