BAAD’s Opposite House
Benjamin Mendoza and An Bermejo are BAAD and they know it.
August 1, 2017
They called it the Opposite House because the clients asked BAAD not make it anything like their previous house–large, formal, white, with a high-maintenance lawn and pool.
Indeed, they got the opposite–the new house is compact, laid-back, sans pool and lawn, clad in dark gray concrete and timber, and topped with a black barn roof.
BluPrint visited the house twice–in July 2016, in the finishing stages, and April 2017, months after the owners had settled in. It was a blistering 32 degrees Celsius in July, and even hotter in April, with temperatures hovering from 34 to 37 degrees.
On our first visit, we looked askance at the black barn roof and braced ourselves for an uncomfortable shoot. Already, we were contemplating what to tell the principal architects, Benjamin Mendoza and An Bermejo, should the heat and discomfort prove undeniable.
Their beaming faces openly expressed their excitement and pride in the project. With good reason: the house is handsome in a friendly and open way. The lines are clean; the program, though unconventional, logical; the heights, widths, clearances, and edges, ergonomic and intuitive; and the attention to detail, outstanding. Most important of all, the clients were just as proud of the house, which, they told us, faithfully enables the easy-going lifestyle they always wanted to have.
But then we’d encountered many houses whose architects and owners were pleased with their collaboration, blissfully ignorant their homes were unnecessarily hot and, if designed right, could have reduced the need for air conditioning by 40 to 60%.
Surprisingly, it was not only not hot inside the house, but cool and breezy!
Air entering the house through openings on the ground and second floors flow up to the attic unobstructed. Air exchange works particularly well when the sliding doors of the attic terrace are open.