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Minimal Footprint Forest House

This family home from WEYES estudio is located in the middle of a forest in Mexico and was designed in such a way that it blends in with the natural surroundings. The design focuses on minimal consumption and forms an architectural language that takes into account customers’ passion for nature.

The site’s greatest challenge was the irregular and sloping terrain. In response, WEYES estudio developed the building as a program with four volumes connected by stairs, corridors and external bridges, taking into account the original topography and vegetation of the forest. Spread across four interconnected volumes, the location of these new pavilions was guided by trees and roots, each carefully positioned to protect the seventeen trees that originally lived on the site.

There is a social pavilion with a patio and an internal patio, a private relaxation pavilion, a visitor pavilion, and a garage and storage room, all of which are respectfully integrated into the forest, which is covered by the treetops and appears to float off the ground. The structure uses a traditional system of columns and lightweight concrete slabs with double brick walls that extend into the landscape in places to guide routes and create semi-private outdoor terraces.

The intention to have a “minimal footprint” on the site was the guiding principle of the project. All the original trees were preserved, the construction process was of little impact and without heavy machinery, local and inexpensive materials and supplies were used, passive systems were implemented to improve the ventilation and lighting of the rooms and the soil of the areas affected by the construction process were regenerated. WEYES estudio also avoided sophisticated energy-saving systems and concentrated more on reducing consumption. The double walls maintain the temperature indoors in winter. The lighting is solved with windows and skylights during the day and with low consumption at night. Service areas were limited to concentrated trajectories and low-consumption devices were used.

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