Casa Canales

  • Projecting out from a steep, rugged mountainside, this house commands a panoramic view over the valley that contains Mexico's industrial center. From the shade of the elongated porte cochere, the visitor is left to discover and contemplate the beauty that lies below. Deceptively cantilevered far out over the mountainside, an edgeless triangular plane of cool, aquamarine water appears suspended weightless in space. This reflecting pool doubles as the water-cooled roof of the house. A temple-like observation pavilion, perched at the farthest corner of the pool, tempts visitors to a refuge that seems supported by the sky.
  • A monumental set of stone steps leads enigmatically into the depths of the cool areas below, like an ethereal portal to an underwater world. Directly below, the house seems to emerge from the very stone of the mountain. Overlapping layers of open lattice walls, colonnades, and glass allow breezes to filter through softly and create rich patterns of light and shadow. Each room within opens completely onto broad covered terraces and balconies to the outdoors, which capture the natural breezes and create cool, shaded areas for the family's daily activities.

project information

location:   Monterrey, Mexico
client:   Mr. Canales
cost:   $3,000,000
date:   1991
area:   8,600 sq ft