Rain Harvest Home / Robert Hutchison Architecture and JSa Arquitectura
Just hours from Mexico City, whose explosive growth has strained the region’s fragile ecosystem, Seattle-based company Robert Hutchison Architecture in collaboration with local company JSa, has created a hymn to the Mexican highlands that promises to help maintain their natural beauty for the coming years.
Located in the mountain community of Temascaltepec, and bristling with energy-efficient and waste-reduction features, Rain Harvest Home comprises three independent structures – a small art studio, a public bath, and the residence itself – all connected to each other by lanes that meander through a lush landscape.
In keeping with the rustic environment, each of the volumes features a burnt wood exterior giving way to sleek interiors accented by volcanic stone, with a wraparound porch on the main house offering ample space for dining and relaxation in the open. air.
It’s easy to love the site’s landscape as it is so beautiful. But the layout of the buildings highlights it. I appreciated the materiality of the design, the simplicity of natural woods in the context of the landscape. The project also did a good job of using the environment, especially the solar aspect and rainwater harvesting. Danielle Tillman
The public bath, perhaps the most convincing element of the project, is a circular volume which serves as a hot bath and a steam shower; with its central opening on the roof, it almost looks like a small temple dedicated to water, which it is, in a sense.
A complex network of infrastructure meets all of the project’s water needs, channeling rainfall into an on-site reservoir that, in tandem with a non-polluting water treatment system, will keep residents cool and hydrated even during the season dry of Temascaltepec. Complemented by a full battery of solar panels, the project shows a way forward for sustainable construction inside Mexico.