THIS MEXICAN HOUSE HAS THE COLOUR BLENDING TREND BUI LT INTO I TS WAL LS
Ombré, which literally translates as ‘shaded’ in French, is one of those super-trends that we’ve seen spread throughout fashion, beauty, interiors and, somewhat alarmingly, beverages (Starbucks launched an Ombré Pink Drink in May, blending white coconut milk into pink passion fruit juice). But trust genius architect Tatiana Bilbao to take the look back to nature in this inspired Mexico City studio. Instead of using it as a decorative accessory, the architect has cleverly made blended colour part of the building’s bones.
On the edge of Lake Chapala near Guadalajara perches Casa Ajijic, the result of a family’s brief to architect Tatiana Bilbao to design a country house for their summer holidays on a very modest budget. It’s an extraordinary edifice, made using an evolved version of rural Mexico’s ancient, vernacular building material: rammed earth. Similar to adobe (earth, water, straw or dung), it is popular for being cheap and plentiful. The contractors compressed soil and concrete gathered from around the site into 30-centimentre-deep, 50-centimetre-thick cubes. These became breathable, sound-absorbent bricks that are naturally insulative and keep the house cool during the extreme Mexican summers. Organic pigments were added to the concrete in order to exaggerate the natural colour gradient of rammed earth, elevating this rudimentary material into something of great beauty. The house’s walls resemble the cross section of a stunning geological formation. tatianabilbao.com
ORGANIC PIGMENTS WERE USED TO EXAGGERATE THE COLOUR GRADIENT OF RAMMED EARTH, ELEVATING THIS RUDIMENTARY BUILDING MATERIAL
The parquet flooring is made from end-grain tiles of Mexican pine that complement the texture of the rammed earth walls. The contemporary furniture, including ‘DSR’ chairs by Charles and Ray Eames (available at The Conran Shop), contrasts with the natural materials Stockist details on p152