Cuna de Tierra

The reaction to two external forces —the program and the natural context— makes the project a kind of inevitable answer. On the one hand, we have the approach to the site using the very soil that nourishes the vines and gives the landscape its hue, as well as being the project’s construction material known as tepetate. On the other, the program is fragmented into volumes corresponding to the winemaking and distribution process, reflecting operational needs.

This discontinuity enables the addition of new bodies in the future, in case the program so requires. It also plays a fundamental role in the building’s thermal and functional performance, as well as in the insolation of the surfaces, where each body becomes a generator of shade for its neighbor. This composition makes the solids as important as the voids of the inner courtyards and the plazas between the volumes which, as well as being workspaces, also give the interiors natural lighting and ventilation.

The darkness required for proper wine storage is a defining requirement, underlining the importance of the relation between solids and voids of this project and giving particular emphasis to using the space based on the experience of intermittency.


Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, 2011

1,800 sqm

Photographs: Ignacio Urquiza / ESTUDIO URQUIZA Taller de fotografía

Torre de tierra

Soil from the vineyard itself is the tower’s core construction material. Replacing the former observation platform, the new construction is built with the tepetate earth obtained during the excavation. The project champions the use of local materials and natural finishes to blend into its surroundings, a quality discernible in its appearance, construction language and sustainability.

The material’s texture and the lines left by the formwork are almost the only form of expression of this stripped-down volume which communicates how the construction system operates.

With a near-square, 25 m2 floor plan, a single gesture alters this pure geometry; a slight angle in one of the sides reveals the possibilities of departing from the norm, understanding variation as a nuance that can create meaning. This project is defined by its details: basic materials are crafted into a precise, carefully calibrated system whose ultimate purpose is to make itself available to the land it overlooks. The unevenness in the perimeter places the user about 60 centimeters below ground level, making it possible to look at the vines from an unusual point of view: it establishes an unexpected visual relationship, placing visitors inside this enclosed space. The tour begins crossing the esplanade surrounding the tower; from there, visitors can choose whether to step down or to climb up to the roof for a bird’s eye view over the vineyard complex. Combined, these three different perspectives enable a global understanding of the project.


Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, 2010

40 sqm

Photographs: Ignacio Urquiza / ESTUDIO URQUIZA Taller de fotografía


This house was built on the roof of a mid-twentieth century construction. The new construction uses this situation to its advantage, by supporting its structure on the original, thus converting it into a foundation. As a result, in some cases, the walls below become pillars above, removing the partitions and permitting ample, diaphanous rooms thanks to the large concrete slab covering the space.

The new house preserves the same distribution governed by the corridor, with the rooms ranged along one side. The interior wall accompanying this passage becomes a calibrated division, and along its entire length a bespoke piece of furniture adapts to the requirements of each space.

Running parallel to this interior corridor, on the other side of the rooms, an exterior walkway creates a route along the length of the house via a terrace open to the garden, while the slender window frames blur the relationship between inside and outside spaces. This large, continuous window converts the interior into part of the surrounding urban landscape.


San Miguel Chapultepec, Mexico City, 2010

180 sqm

Photographs: Ignacio Urquiza / ESTUDIO URQUIZA Taller de fotografía