Modern Mexican Build With Tropical Gardens


Contemporary brick architecture is combined with traditional style stone walls within the build of this house located in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Put together by AE Arquitectos, the classic parts give a nod to the rich history of Jalisco, because after all, ‘Jalisco es México’. The home utilises vast amounts of planting to feather the sharp edged exterior. A central courtyard has been wrapped in glazed walls, providing lush green tropical decor to the interior of the home. The dominant presence of plants in this home design makes perfect sense with the biodiversity of the Jalisco area, which contains all five of Mexico’s natural ecosystems.

Our first glance of the home shows us right off the bat that this is architecture at the cutting edge, but its linear modern design is juxtaposed somewhat by rustic stone walls that support the upper volumes.

By night we can further appreciate the visual warmth granted by the exterior stonework. We also get a better look at the internal courtyard located on the opposite side of the sprawling open plan living room, kitchen and dining space.

The garden around the outdoor pool is smooth lawn but we can already see moments of planting emerging at the borders and over a stone balcony wall.

Exterior strip lighting runs around the edge of the outdoor swimming pool and along the perimeter of the neatly manicured lawn. Further strips of light trim the set of exterior steps to improve safety underfoot in low lighting conditions. The ground level lighting also provides a cosy glow and makes the outside of the home a usable area throughout the nighttime hours rather than just during the day.

Beyond the length of the swimming pool, the garden is defined by low level chunky stone walls that match the exterior of the home. These are raised flowers beds to provide further opportunity for including a variety of plant species into the garden scheme. The lawn that begins poolside sweeps down through these raised flower beds, creating a soft grassy pathway.

The plants in the raised flower beds, which thrive on the opposite side to the pool and the house, have their own special lighting here too.

For the first time here we can also note that the outdoor swimming pool is not just a long and narrow lap pool but actually an L-shaped design that wraps around the deck. The wooden pool deck has raised stone flower beds adjacent to the outdoor dining area. Opposite we can see that the garden melds into trees. Jalisco has tropical deciduous & thorn forests, tropical evergreen forests, and temperate forests with pine, fir and oak trees, as well as its grasslands, plus arid and semi arid scrublands.

Moving to the interior of this design, it’s possible to see that the classic stone walls continue within. The home has retractable glass walls to enable a seamless indoor-outdoor living style that works perfectly for warm climates. The living room opens fully on both sides, allowing the homeowners to have unrestricted access to the central tropical courtyard and to the garden that includes the pool.

The upstairs of this home is presented as a mezzanine level. Downstairs, furniture materials are all very natural and neutral, allowing the calming natural greenery to be the ultimate focal point.

The internal courtyard has an arrangement of wooden walkways running through the groupings of plants. The level planking is set to encourage short wanders through nature, and creates a place for a calming little pitstop hidden amongst the leaves whilst taking in a breath of fresh air.

Here too we see subtle yet effective use of warm exterior lighting, showcasing the details of a natural beauty spot.

An internal courtyard balcony is decorated with planting to work in tandem with the lower level, creating a dual level courtyard effect. Upstairs we see a change in window style. In contrast to the unobstructed open expanses of glass seen downstairs, the upstairs windows are quite busily framed, in a Colonial style. However the black lattice framing style also creates almost a Japanese Shoji window effect, which in turn adds an unexpected zen garden vibe to the Mexican courtyard.

Rustic stone walls butt right up against expanses of modern brickwork, crashing old into new.

Even the smallest corner of this home is accessorised with an array of potted plants.

The plethora of pants are in harmonious cohabitation with the homeowners, taking up almost equal space in and around the dwelling.

A large stripped back log bench is sandwiched between two gardens, within a warm glass hallway.

A glass balustrade flanks each side of the open tread staircase, ensuring garden views remain unobstructed. An LED illuminates each step. On ascending the staircase we pass by two exposed feature walls; one of traditional stone on the ground floor, followed by modern brick up on the first level.

Outside, behind an explosion of greenery, we can see the stepped composition of the building, with four volumes incrementally moved back.

More trees disguise the modern outlines.

Accent furniture and area rugs predominantly tie in with the traditional flavour of the stone walling rather than the influence of cool contemporary architecture.

The array of wildlife envelops the walls of the home from the top and bottom, like a hug from Mother Nature.

Recommended Reading: An Atmospheric Approach To Modernist Architecture In Mexico

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