- Architects: Jorge Ramirez
- Location: Aguascalientes, Mexico
- Area: 290.0 m2
- Project Year: 2013
- Photographs: Paulina Ojeda / contra taller de diseño
Text description provided by the architects. Ceiba House was created starting from a small and old neocolonial construction of the 1930s, in which the current owner lived for more than 10 years. Suddenly, the need arose to expand it to house his new family: Himself: plastic artist, a dancer/yoga teacher and two small children.
The original house, although it had the typical elements of Mexican neocolonial architecture, did not have great historical or architectural value, yet the project’s guiding principle was to preserve it intact. As well as the ancient pyramids, where the new structure was built over the previous one, leaving it drowned inside, a respectful envelope for the neocolonial house was designed. The expansion delicately shelters and exhibits the original forms, elements and materials. Each one of the constructive stages is clearly established.
The expansion program proposed building a yoga room that could be accessed without entering the house, two new bedrooms for the children as well as expanding the kitchen, dining and services areas.
The construction is accessed through a tiny lobby, as in the front is the original facade of the house and the access door to private areas. As well, from this same lobby, on the right, a spiral staircase next to the trunk of a ceiba tree elevates the user to the top of the tree and from there, dodging the upper branches suddenly appears a pond, a garden and the yoga studio.
If we continue straight ahead from the small lobby, crossing the old main door, you will come to a “zaguán” that leads to a private patio which becomes the center of the house. A large glass allows a huge beaucarnea, a waterfall and the three-point arch of the hallway to be the scenography and witness of all the family’s activities.
The intimate area of the house is accessed through a side door of the patio, located next to the exposed water tank that recalls the ancient Muslim cisterns, pouring a peaceful and continuous murmur of running water. Ceiling heights of 4 mts. and thick adobe walls house a library/music room, bedrooms and bathrooms.
At the back of the patio, retaining its original location and behind an arch topped by a mask, is the kitchen-dining room with an open and frank view to the main courtyard.
There is a second patio crossing a narrow side corridor to the kitchen, bigger than the first one and covered by the frond of a huge and ancient zapote tree, under which is the artist’s studio.
Ceiba House keeps away from the great formal pretensions and exaggerations to which most architects are given, its simple façade and a refined interior design full of symbolism, vegetation and intimate spaces, bring back at times those words that Luis Barragán warned were being forgotten by the architects: Beauty, Inspiration, Magic, Spellbound, Enchantment, Serenity, Silence, Intimacy and Amazement.