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CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: Back to Genus

Date published: February 10, 2015

The CEMEX Building Award is an initiative created and organized by CEMEX for the purpose of distinguishing the best in architecture and construction around the world. Each year, CEMEX has distinguished the best construction projects and all those people who have made these possible: architects, engineers, investors, and constructors. In this series, we recognize the winners of the 2014 Mexico edition.

CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: Back to Genus

Casa Narigua is located in a valley of the eastern Sierra Madre mountain range, in a spot called the Jonuco, 20 minutes away from the urban metropolis.

In order to build this house, it was necessary to acquiesce to the environment, says David Pedroza, who was responsible for the architectural project. Together with that certainty, a series of lucky coincidences and dilemmas joined in shaping its profile.

This house seems to float because of a pair of five- and seven-meter projections that arose both as a desire to respect the local flora and also at the request of the client who wanted to have all of the main areas on a single floor. That’s why the secondary spaces formed the basis of a great block that seems to be constantly balancing.

Respecting the condition of a rustic image demanded by the developer, it was decided to make a pigmented concrete house matching the hues of the rocks located in this place, 1700 meters above sea level.

Pedroza knew that choosing this material added a degree of complexity, but he was not alone on this journey. "It was a fascinating synergism of which CEMEX became a part," says the architect.

Inside the 750-square-meter property, one can also breathe the landscape in. The ceiling of the social area is supported by cypress beams, similar to those in traditional northeastern buildings, and the generous picture windows are a suitable frame for the vegetation.

CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: Back to Genus

To reach this place you need to drive along a short but winding road. This was the route that some thirty construction workers and their supervisors under the command of Arturo Barbosa – the engineer who took on the challenge of building a rock house in the mountain – had to travel every day for more than a year.

Since it had already been decided that the house would be made out of tinted ready-mix concrete, he had no hesitation in choosing his supplier. Beyond the specific hue that was required, a very particular ferrous oxide, it was necessary to guarantee technical support over the entire project. The color needed to be replicated again and again, in significant quantities of cubic meters, and this continuity could be assured by CEMEX.

"The challenge in this kind of concrete is that you need to maintain the quality, consistency, strength, the same slump... it all needs to be the same always," Barbosa points out.

And so it was: environmentally friendly from its very foundations. The Narigua House has hydronic heating, high-efficiency air conditioning equipment, a wastewater treatment plant, and other high-tech features.

Since the conception of the project, both the architect and the builder knew that they were building a "competition piece" and that is why they nominated it for the XXIII CEMEX Mexico Building Awards. But beyond the recognition, they both feel satisfied in knowing that now it is a functional, enjoyable home in every sense of the word.

"This house is a tribute to what we found, which is much more beautiful than anything we can achieve with our work," says the architect.

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.

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