This house is organic in the literal sense of the word and best described through adjectives. It is a body made of cells and organs that takes us back to the time of our pre-birth, that of our mother’s womb.
When you enter the house, you see a wavy lawn punctuated by brightly colored bougainvillea. In this elegant but densely populated suburb of northern Mexico City, it is a haven of serenity.
However, as we are being seduced by this vision, a pearly white corridor diverts our attention, catches us and takes us to the heart of a strange and confusing universe.
This corridor all round and soft leads us towards unsuspected depths. Our feet – bare – sink into a soft white carpet, the walls are smooth and satiny, and sounds become curiously muted. Before you can even acclimate yourself to the space, you enter a circular living room, with curved walls and ceiling, semi-buried but at ground level due to the slope of the terrain. A bay window conforming to the landscape around it reveals the view that attracted us at the entrance.
It is the first room of this “casa” where instinctively, we want to curl up in the sofa that hugs the glass surround. Everything is welcoming, serene and cozy. These curves, which are found everywhere in the integrated furniture, in creamy white, are restful and … so obvious. Nothing is usual, but everything vibrates in unison with our inner self.
In a few minutes, the protocols and principles we have acquired have disappeared and the animal in us takes over. Since we inhabit houses with right angles, we have long forgotten that the curve is the evidence of man. Javier Senosiain, the architect of this house (which he designed and built for his family in 1984) is convinced of this. He is passionate about organic architecture.
He has observed and studied the numerous patterns of nature and found that initially, it is always non rectilinear form that prevails; from the birds’ nest to the rodents’ burrows, from the caves of the first humans to the igloos, teepees, yurts, earth houses of the Navajo Indians, etc. Our environment does not like straight lines and sharp edges. The earth we live on is round, as is the sun and the moon. Our body itself is made of meanders and curves and it would be impossible to imagine any of our organs being square.
When one becomes aware of this reality, one wonders why man has dedicated himself to an uncompromising orthogonality, building more and more in right angles, superimposing cubes to make houses, buildings, towers and finally cities.
At the casa orgànica, nature – or more exactly OUR nature – reappears in force. Surprise gives way to enchantment and we meander under the earth, as in the stories of Jules Verne, towards the heart of the matrix. The house envelops us, cradles us, cuddles us. It is a second mother and we become a child again; the curves make us want to smile, then laugh and especially play.
The architect knows this and he himself has been carried away in this dreamy and joyful whirlwind. The warm and brightly colored corridors that lead to the different rooms are an invitation to discover. Each new space, where everything has been thought out in minute detail, is a revelation. Everywhere there is an immense desire to settle down, to be with oneself and to cut off from the rest of the world.
To complete the fantasy, one ultimately arrives to a space fashioned to be an open mouthed shark’s head offering a magical view to the garden.
Javier Senosiain has drawn his sources and inspirations from other free-thinking and free-acting architects such as the American Frank Lloyd Wright, the Catalan Antonio Gaudi and the Mexican Luis Barragan. Each of them inspired his realizations, but his style remains unique. Even if the casa orgànica resembles in some respects the “bubble houses” that were very popular in the 70s and 80s, it has an additional audacity. By its impregnation with the surrounding environment, embedded in the landscape as if a giant earthworm had dug its galleries, it brings us to the center of its essence.
In the cottony silence of its curves, it makes us hear the beating of our heart. Here, we live and breathe in symbiosis with the rest of the environment and in harmony with ourselves. Here, we become part of the cosmos again.
Casa orgànica prompts us to ask the question “why on earth did the ruler win over the compass one day?” What would the world be like if man had chosen to build round?
Text from Claudia and photos from régis.
For more informations:
To visit the house
Don’t be late to make the most of the visit and the exceptional welcome of the young historian who will guide you
Books from Javier Senosiain:
A journey with the family ( and the dog) of Javier Senosiain