10 September 2018
Man’s first home was a cave. Sheltered and secure, it allowed its inhabitants to defend themselves and shape their relationship with the world day by day, crossing its threshold. Light was able to make its way in through a few holes in the stone, outlining the space around which the family unit and the contemplative spirit of the individual were formed. Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos’ poetic construction of La Cueva, located in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara in Mexico, harks back to the same archetype and updates it, succeeding in melding the gravity of the refuge with the gracefulness typical of geometric abstractionism. The house does not rest directly on the ground: a hollow base clad in stone protects the occupants from an immediate relationship with the outside. The difference in heights on the inside, generated by the change in level between the raised entrance—to which access is provided by a stone staircase—and the base, permits the creation of a dynamic space flooded with light and turning around a tree planted at its center during the construction. The light, which expands the house’s dimensions by penetrating through the openings in the fronts and onto the central patio, is intensified by reflection from the completely white surfaces of the interiors, interrupted only by the grain of the marble and the wood, which adds to the refinement and charm of the spaces. And the air, circulating freely thanks to the excellent natural ventilation, mitigates the impact of the climate and makes the building even more pleasant to live in. Thus the intimate character, the openings onto the world outside and the hollowed-out central core around which the effects of the light and the benefits of the currents of air are consolidated recall a universal model of construction, able to involve mind and body, that keeps to the rules of modern composition and holds a dialogue with a tradition capable of spanning ages and styles without renouncing functional integrity and harmony.