Anyone who still believes that landscape architecture should take a back seat to "real" architecture should take a gander at Roof Arquitectos' nature-inspired home design, Casa MK. Located on a hilly landscape just outside of the Mexican city, Morelia, the entire home design is arranged around a forest of oak trees, which the architects planted themselves.
A “central forest” of thirteen oak trees were planted in what would become the central courtyard of the contemporary residence named Casa MK. After planting the trees, the architects built out four blocks around the trees for living space. Although the home design is contemporary in almost every detail, the nature-inspired design was meant to pay homage to the traditional courtyard-style homes of the area.
After meeting with the family who would live in the home, the architects were given carte blanche to design a home that would best reflect their lifestyle. Roof founders Rogelio Vallejo and Francisco Noriega explained their unique design process as very nature-focused, “When we first envisioned this house, we imagined a small, silent forest of red oaks, and how that silence would be broken by the wind rustling the foliage on trees and the sound of footsteps on wood.”
“The first move we made, when we started to build this house was to plant 13 red oaks,” they added. “These 13 trees are the heart of the house, around them the space is emphasised, and the house is organised.”
The home’s overall style and layout is minimalist to put it mildly. The block-like exterior is clad in a stark white that continues into the entrance and courtyard. Contrasting nicely with the white exterior is the black granite cladding that was used on the upper floor to retain the summer heat in the bedrooms, therefore reducing the home’s energy use.
The rest of the interior flooring is made up of dark wood planks that run onto the exterior patio, achieving a seamless continuity between the exterior and interior. Large glazed walls and panoramic openings throughout the house offer stellar views of the oak trees and the beautiful hillside that surrounds the home.
Photography by Vinicio Herrera and Mariano Rentería.