Rammed earth family home built for under $80K in Mexico
Mexican architectural studio Parma Arquitectura has recently created the ideal desert-proof tiny home, named Santerra House. Located in the center of Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe wine region, the weekend home boasts a rammed earth and burnt timber shell, resembling the soft shades of sandstone and the surrounding landscape.
"Earth was chosen as the main material in response to the local warm and dry climate," lead architect German Parma told New Atlas. "It requires a small amount of water compared to other earth systems."
Rammed earth was selected not only for its low water consumption, but also because it offers excellent thermal mass and shelter from high external temperatures, while also combating humidity. It took a team of five builders close to a year to complete the construction, with a large part of the earth being sourced directly from the site after excavations. The team created 40-cm (15.75-inch)-thick rammed earth walls to complete the home, providing an ideal thermal envelope to maintain comfortable interior temperatures all year round.
To complement its highly efficient structure, the home features concrete foundations and flooring, timber decking and shading, and metal-cased reinforced glazed windows. The charred timber featured in the facade was burnt by hand with a torch, adopting the traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique which provides added durability while creating a rustic aesthetic.
"Weather is important to us and the entire design of the project is designed to provide thermal comfort to the inhabitants of the house, materials and orientation of spaces and window," explained Parma.
Santerra House was built as a weekend home and can accommodate a family of four, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Stepping inside, the dwelling features a comfortable shared living and dining room, which adjoins the minimal kitchen via a central concrete bar. The home features a large outdoor terrace, serving as an extension to the interior living zones, while also connecting directly with the master bedroom. The south-facing outdoor terrace provides an ideal setting for outdoor entertaining, with overhead timber beams for shade, and the home's walls providing protection from strong winds.
"What I like most is the terrace that is surrounded by the house to protect it from the prevailing winds," said Parma. "The house is small, so this space is important, it has a pergola that lets in the sun's rays during the winter but casts shade during the summer."
Santerra House cost an impressive US$75,000 to complete.
Source: Parma Arquitectura