Completed in 2022 by Ludwig Godefroy, the Alferez house is an architectural exploration that delves into a unique blend of romantic cabin charm and brutalist fortress protection. Drawing inspiration from a cabin nestled in the woods, the house is designed as a secure, concrete haven that provides both shelter and connection to nature. The analysis focuses on three key principles that underpin the design: (1) the juxtaposition of cabin romance and fortress-like security, (2) the compact and expressive structural footprint that interacts with the surrounding topography, and (3) the pursuit of light and connection to the surrounding pine trees. Together, these elements create a home that embraces its natural setting while offering a strong sense of security and architectural intrigue.
Casa Alférez Technical Information
- Architects1-2: Ludwig Godefroy
- Location: Mexico
- Topics: Concrete, Brutalist, Cabin Houses
- Area: 150 m2
- Project Year: 2022
- Photographs: © Rory Gardiner
The project responds to the idea of an isolated house in the forest, without ever losing sight on the need for a strong feeling of security; a house like a vault, made of concrete that protects and cares for its inhabitants.– Ludwig Godefroy Architects
Casa Alférez Photographs
Text by the Architects
The concept of the Alferez house comes from the idea of a cabin in the wood and its romantic feeling of a protective shelter in the middle of the forest. I wanted the house to look like a cube that would have crashed on the floor among the trees.
The design of the house is based on 3 points:
1. The project responds to the idea of an isolated house in the forest without ever losing sight of the need for a strong feeling of security, a house like a vault made of concrete that protects and cares for its inhabitants.
The result is a mix of languages; on the one hand, the cabin is the romantic part of the project, and on the other hand, the fortress is the brutalist protective part. The ground floor is almost blind. Meanwhile, the windows are placed on a very high level where you can’t reach them from the outside, opening views toward the sky and the pine trees on the inside.
2. The structural project has a very compact footprint to avoid a complex and expensive foundation due to the topography of the land, with the idea to grow the height of the house to create a second ground floor on top of the house, the suspended rooftop terrace in the middle of the trees. The rooftop is the morning area. Meanwhile, the natural ground floor is the afternoon area.
The house seems like an unstable box on top of the land’s natural slope, cantilevered on its south corner and sunken on the opposite north corner. The project recreates the feeling of a cabin suspended on top of the natural topography of its land. The structure expresses this contradiction, generating a singular contrast between the feeling of lightness of a cabin, balanced by the weight of the concrete, and the fortress personality of the house.
3. The house is looking for the light among the trees and a relationship with the crown of those majestic pine trees. Following the logic of its compact footprint of 9 x 9 meters, the project’s purpose has been to grow vertically instead of horizontally to allow people to touch the branches of the tall pine trees.
The house’s configuration has been developed in half levels organized around a double height, giving the house this cathedral feeling and proportion on the inside, with light entering everywhere from the top, through those very high windows and skylights in the ceiling.
Then the double height diffuses the light through the entire inner space, compensating for the loss of windows on the ground floor.
Casa Alférez Plans
Casa Alférez Image Gallery
About Ludwig Godefroy
Ludwig Godefroy is a French architect known for his work in Mexico. He gained recognition for his unique architectural style, often combining traditional elements with modern design principles. Bold geometric forms, strong connections to nature, and local materials and craftsmanship integration characterize Godefroy’s creations. His projects often exhibit a harmonious blend of cultural influences, paying homage to both his European roots and the rich architectural history of Mexico.
- Team: Ludwig Godefroy – Abraham Castro Diaz
- Engineer: Josue Hernandez Struk