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Wooden staircase twists through center of concrete and brick house in Mexico City

An ash staircase lined with a bookcase twists around an atrium in this family home in Mexico City by Tapia McMahon, which has been made from concrete and reclaimed brick.


Called Cuernavaca House, the project was recently longlisted for the 2018 RIBA International Prize, which recognises new buildings around the world that exemplify the "meaningful impact" of good design.


Tapia McMahon designed the family home for a brownfield site, incorporating repurposed materials and a rainwater tank solution that waters the planted troughs and trees.


The main structure is made from concrete combined with an aggregate of recycled materials. The thermal mass of the large slabs is designed to absorb heat during the day to keep the interior cool, and then releases the heat at night to keep the house at a constant temperature.


The narrow depth and minimal internal walls means the large floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors can be opened for natural ventilation. The footprint of the building covers the whole plot, but a considered layout means there is still plenty of outdoor space for the family to enjoy.


At ground level Cuernavaca House is accessed directly from the street, with covered parking spaces for two cars running the length of the building.

credit to: India Block