Architect Robert Hutchison Architecture & JSa envisioned a mountain retreat in Temascaltepec, Mexico, two hours west of Mexico City, that would harness the full potential of its natural resources while maintaining its beauty. The result is Rain Harvest Home, a three-structure escape that includes a main residence, an artist’s studio, and a freestanding bathhouse.
The structure incorporates the principles of permaculture to establish a holistic and integrated relationship between people and place. Each structure uses 100% rainwater year-round, collected from above and then purified in an underground reservoir system. The main residence takes the form of a pavilion with two-thirds of its floor area dedicated to a covered outdoor space.
Meanwhile, the bathhouse orients to the sky above and the water below. Guests can use a hot bath, steam shower, sauna and toilet. In the center is a cool plunge pool that opens up to the sky. The three structures of the Rain Harvest Home share a tectonic vocabulary of foundations clad in volcanic rock and green roofs.
This extraordinary retirement home has a simple and minimalist facade. But its interior is lined with modern furnishings in the living areas, bedrooms, dining rooms and kitchen. Wood paneling that clads the high ceilings complements the concrete walls and floors, while the stainless steel kitchen countertops glint in the natural light.
The Rain Harvest Home also has glass windows that overlook extensive greenery outside. In addition to using rainwater, the structure also uses solar energy to power modern electronics. As much as possible, interior spaces have ceilings that allow sunlight to filter in.
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Images courtesy of Robert Hutchison Architecture