Eetov presents its overture for Casa Pátzcuaro, a home located outside the homonymous city in Michoacán, Mexico. The design meticulously considers the lush landscape of the area, whose first settlements date back more than 500 years, and exemplifies the universal design requirements by the ADA, considering not only accessibility for people with physical disabilities, but also people with some type of visual and cognitive disability.
Architecture + interior design: Eetov
Location: Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, México.
Total surface area: 210 sqm / 689 sqft
This 210 m² house also seeks to accentuate elements of the pre-Hispanic past of the area where the Purépecha culture played a relevant role, through composition, pure forms, and materials that harmonize with the client’s pursuit of creating a home that fulfills their needs of establishing an accessible space, for the use of a wheelchair and that can also be functional for other types of disability.
The program is developed through 2 volumes that convey through a ramp and a hall [as a connecting element between them]. Based on the premise of being a continuous space, obtaining natural light, and the need for cross-ventilation, this country house, with large concrete walls, articulates the relationship between the volumes. The main entrance hall and entrance delimits the interaction between the social and private areas, generating cool transition spaces and chiaroscuro, becoming the articulating axes of the project.
The area created to serve as the kitchen and the dining room is an open space that allows free circulation even using any element of mobility support. It also integrates large windows that connect physically and visually with the outside, inducing delight in the landscape of the area, generating a contextual architecture that is also contemporary, functional, and evocative.
Around the central transition space, each volume being independent allows the articulation of different solutions of the program; natural light entrances and different configurations in the rooms, generating movement to the symmetrical expression of the project. This results in a dynamic program that offers diverse indoor spatial experiences and that encourage natural ventilation and cooling of the home without the need for mechanical equipment.
Casa Pátzcuaro is elevated on a foundation of stones and local materials to improve the continuity of the program, while the lateral walls whose irregular shape in the upper part reinterprets the topography of the area and remains sober to control the view from the ends and maintain the privacy. From this, 3 elements of local architecture are reinterpreted: the articulating center, the staircase, and the horizontality in its constructions, where the buildings privilege length over height.
The large windows are made of wooden frames and shutters to ensure optimal ventilation. The skylights in the circulations provide natural lighting and ventilation in areas where there is no direct contact with the outside, creating shadows that change according to the time of year.
Accessibility and universal design elements were soberly integrated into the architecture through the main ramp that functions as access and articulating element, the routes between the spaces are clear, simple, and easy to read, and the route is complemented by a slot that works as a guide to the main spaces, for people who use a white cane.
As for the furniture and accessories, elements were incorporated so that their operation was simple and with little effort incorporating, being very useful for people with motor problems, in addition, the contrast both in color and texture of the materials to the touch makes it easy to identify the elements also for people with intellectual and mental disabilities.
This project seeks to exemplify that universal design does not compromise the beauty or functionality of architecture or interior design, it is an element that substantially improves the lives of people with and without disabilities.
ENRIQUE TOVAR / EETOV
Ciudad de México – 1994
Eetov is a design studio focused on accessibility, sustainability and experimental design based in Mexico City.
Founded in 2019 by Enrique Tovar, architect member of the College of Architects of Mexico City, LEED Green Associate by the USGBC and Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments (CPABE) by the IAAP.
The formal expression of the studio focuses on the forcefulness and pure forms of its projects, where each of them responds to the historical, social, economic and environmental context, seeking to create a strong identity in the relationship between the object and its user.
His work has earned him publications in media such as The Wall Street Journal, Dezeen and Architectural Digest, he has also participated in international firms where he is a member of the design team for projects of various typologies and scales.