top of page

2018 MCHAP

Amacueca House

Jorge Alejandro Rivera Gutierrez

Amacueca, Mexico

September 2016


Jorge A. Rivera Gutiérrez / Departamento de Arquitectura Francisco Gutiérrez Peregrina / CoA Arquitectura Diana Quiroz / CoA Arquitectura


Andrea Romero / Departamento de Arquitectura (Architect) Ulises Vázquez / CieGDL (Structural Engineer) Juan Jesus Aguirre / Ceromotion (Structural Engineer) Saraí Chávez (Administrator) Alberto Avilés (Architect) Isadora Vargas (Architect) Fernando Cervantes (Architect) Mariana Murguía (Architect)


Victoriano Gudiño Gudiño


Onnis Luque


The project is an initiative by our wonderful clients, the Guidiño Family, originally from Amacueca, who later moved to Guadalajara and where Mr. Gudiño practices medicine. The family wanted to build a weekend getaway house in a lot that has belonged to their family for many generations, the house was planned to eventually become a permanent home, once they retired in a few years. It was a house that held the promise of a return to their hometown after many years. Thus, it was intended for the house to have certain flexibility in its spatial organization. The couple, as they age, will become permanent residents while their sons will visit them every other weekend. The house splits its uses into two temporal modes. The program is deceptively simple, comprised by social places of encounter -a living room and a terrace that outlooks to the orchard- and private rooms for rest -bedroom and guest rooms-. Hinged by the kitchen, the emotional core of the house and a commonplace for the family to meet.


The house's site is immersed in an orchard, filled with coffee shrubs, walnut and mango trees. Though a fairly large site, the house was to occupy a small area, and it was paramount for the project to be the less invasive as possible. The fruits produced by the orchard are meant to be collected by the community every harvesting season and enjoyed by everyone, so it was important that the house maintained the same spirit of collectivity that the site has been offering to the community that surrounds it. Amacueca is a rural, small town in the skirts of a mountain chain, devoted to agriculture. Its weather conditions are very special, a humid enclave near a dry lagoon and a high altitude forest. The rain season brings enormous amounts of water that washes down from the mountains, which require for irrigation canals to traverse most properties in the area. The fauna and flora are very rich and diverse too, the site houses bats, armadillos, flying squirrels, skunks, snakes, hummingbirds and hundreds of species of insects. All these life was to be taken into consideration since the house sits in the midst of this rich, dense and exuberant landscape.


The house is a retelling of the traditional courtyard house, growing around a piece of the orchard in a single storey layout, with open spaces that allow a constant relationship between indoors and outdoors. The elliptical footprint of the plan, dynamically shifting with setbacks and extensions along its looping axis, allows for the different parts of the program pieces to relate, while simultaneously preserving existing trees, opening visuals and modulating light with light-wells and windows. The body of the house seeks to mimic the context with its materiality, providing different atmospheres for gathering, rest or contemplation. Built exclusively with regional materials and local craftsmanship, the house is the result of a rich and constant dialogue and action between clients, architects and craftsmen, including a heavy dose of on-site decision making, improvisational drawing and design. Around the courtyard, an open-air promenade ties every part of the house together, framed by the rhythm of the colonnade that supports the wooden truss system for the roof. In addition, concrete elements are located as grafts in the supporting walls as elements that limit, support and confine enclosure elements, windows and alcoves. e gabled roof marked by the shape of the radial wooden trusses, allows enough height for a half-lit ceiling in every interior space, evoking the warm feeling of a cabin. At its lowest point in the tilting roof, it frames attention to the interior garden, a tamed piece of the orchard. A small, domesticated sample of the delightful garden that engulfs the house.

bottom of page