Luxury and Sustainability Settle Down Together in this Mexican Home Imagine a dream house: a large glass façade with a beautiful view of the surrounding nature and the local lake. A large garden with a swimming pool. A generously-sized dining table for parties, a private cinema for effective enjoyment of movies, and a spacious terrace. Does that cut it for you? Well, imagine no longer. Mexican Grupo Arquitectura has fulfilled your wishes with their new project Casa Vista al Lago at Mexico’s Valle de Bravo Lake. Lead architect Daniel Álvarez and his team created a house of two volumes with a continuous view of the lake from all of the houses’ spaces. Floors are made of oak wood, walls out of planked concrete without coating. One of the design’s key factors was sustainability: featuring measures for saving energy, solar panels for energy production and a system for water-recycling, the casa does not only impress with its visual assets, but also backs it up with eco-friendly inner values. Project Name: Casa Vista al Lago Location: Valle de Bravo, Mexico Studio: Grupo Arquitectura Lead Architect: Daniel Álvarez Land: 2,700m2 Construction: 1,500m2 Photographs: Agustín Garza There is so much to learn about this monumental project, so check out our interview with Daniel. THE PLUS: How was the design process? Talk us through the challenges that were involved. Daniel Álvarez: The most important subject in all the projects of Architecture is the Site, the views, the orientation, and to comply with the program of requirements of the clients. In this project the biggest challenge was to meet the times in a work outside of Mexico City and we achieved it. The design process is very complex because in this case we wanted to make a prefabricated construction in Mexico City and take everything possible just to assemble all together. We had a strong involvement with all the Engineers and specialists to achieve the purpose. TP: You designed around the existing environment – in some cases literally by forming the design around trees. What was your thinking behind this? DÁ: It is always very important to respect environment conditions, this is what makes the architecture unique and unrepeatable. We always leave trees untouched. TP: The color theme works very well – silver grey and light-toned wood. How did you approach its creation? DÁ: We wanted to use natural materials with neutral tones, so we chose concrete that is light grey, wood that is completely natural pine without dyes, and the floors made of an American oak wood. All the metal structure is painted with graphite grey. TP: Which three words best describes the feeling of being inside Casa Vista al Lago? DÁ: Interior-exterior, light, views. TP: What was it like working with oak for the upper story? DÁ: We like it a lot. We always try to incorporate natural materials which have a great personality. TP: How important for you was the sustainability aspect of the design? DÁ: Very. Today one cannot design without considering the sustainability of projects. The environment is a priority. TP: What do you like most about designing residential buildings like this? DÁ: What I like the most is the design process followed by the construction process, and the way that with few well-designed elements, a space that can be spectacular is achieved. TP: Were the clients happy? DÁ: Very glad, they really liked the result of the house and they also enjoyed the process, they visited the construction twice a month and were very involved in the selection of everything. TP: If you were to stay in Casa Vista al Lago, which of the leisure rooms do you think you’d spend the most time in? DÁ: In the terrace of the pool.