The Rain Harvest Home is an off-the-grid retreat completely connected to nature. Located in the mountains south of Valle Bravo, about a two-hour drive from Mexico City. It’s not just a house, designed by Robert Hutchison Architecture and JSa (Javier Sanchez Arquitectos). It also has an architect studio and separate bath just steps from the house. Its location is very strategic because it is directly opposite Mount Toluca Volcan as high as 16,500 feet. The house is also in a nature reserve, the aim of which is to create a structure that can operate off-grid via a solar PV array and on-site water treatment and storage systems. The hope is to work in tandem with the local climate where the seasons are wet and rainy, and the winters are very dry.
The residence is designed as a pavilion that allows year-round outdoor use. It is basically designed to be very eco-friendly in order for the home to work in harmony with the nature around it. A raised concrete plinth lined with local volcanic rock serves as a platform for the interior and exterior spaces, while the floating embedded roof is supported by a perimeter pylon of steel columns. Two-thirds of the pavilion is dedicated to enclosed outdoor spaces, allowing all sides of the house to breathe and remain open in temperate climates.
The roof of the house feels very at one with the natural surroundings with green roofs and steel pillars. Even though the whole house is a natural green environment, this roof gives its own more comfort to the greenhouse. At first glance, this house almost looks like part of a nature reserve. The stand-alone bath is circular in shape and allows you to enjoy a variety of relaxing activities such as a hot bath, sauna, steam bath and restroom. There is a very cool small swimming pool in the center with a beautiful view of the sky. There is also an architect’s studio with its own space and large windows that give views to the Toluca Volcano in the north.