In 1973 Agustín Hernández Navarro completed the house for her sister Amalia Hernández who was a dancer, choreographer and the founder of the Ballet Folklórico de México. The architect demonstrates a stark playfulness of form in the project, where a rigid geometry collides with a more organic, curvilinear shape.
Amalia Hernandez House Technical Information
- Architects: Agustín Hernández Navarro
- Location: Mexico City, Mexico
- Topics: Organic Architecture, Clay
- Type: Private House
- Project Year: 1973
- Photographs: © Felipe de Hoyos, © Julius Suliman
Today’s architecture has to have something from yesterday, but much more of tomorrow.
– Agustín Hernández Navarro
Amalia Hernández House Photographs
A lesser-known facet of the Mexican architect is his poetic work, Gravity, Geometry and Symbolism, and his study of space with “the fear of vacuums“ and the interaction between “positive light, and negative shadows.” In those works, he gives us an insight into his creative process. He explains how he finds inspiration from symbols of famous Pre-Columbian archaeological sites and monumental structures of historical significance.
In the case of Amalia Hernandez’s house, he was inspired by the 16th-century convents of Mexico city. Color and light are introduced to the interior in a very sacred way to generate peace and comfort. The architect embraces the idea that spaces create emotions.
My sister wanted a convent-like house, with reclusive, compartmentalized rooms, so we toured a bunch of convents. That’s how I arrived at details like ocular openings, which were my interpretation of 16th-century windows.
– Agustín Hernández Navarro
Another influence of the house is the nautilus shells, which have a spiral shape and is divided into chambers. Based on this idea, the interior is divided into sections that generate infinite organic forms. In that way, he plays with sensuous and organic curves breaking with the sharp angles present in his own studio and using ingenious methods to illuminate the inner gardens.
Overall, there is a lightness in the house with volumes that appear to soar or float, but it is decidedly monumental and sharp. If we look closely, we find many sensual and warm shapes defying gravity.
Casa Amalia Hernández Navarro Plans
Amalia Hernández House Image Gallery
About Agustín Hernández Navarro
Agustín Hernández Navarro is a Mexican sculptor and architect born in Mexico City. He is the son of politician Lamberto Hernández and Amalia Navarro and studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Leading exponent of “emotional” architecture in his country, Hernandez has fused elements from Mexico’s Pre-columbian past in his contemporary architecture. He usually starts by designing the vertical elements of a building, such as the stairs, as he feels these are of much importance. As organic nature, his architecture unites structure, form, and function.