Designed by the home’s owner Javier Sanchez of JSa architects and Robert Hutchison of Robert Hutchison Architecture, the concept behind Rain Harvest Home is rooted in its unique location.
Reserva el Peñón, a landscape-driven development that has achieved water self-sufficiency for a community of 80 families in 450 acres of a nature reserve. About two hours west of Mexico City in the region of Temascaltepec, a recently completed home for an architect and his family is giving a new face to water conservancy. Comprised of three small structures that include a main residence, an art studio and a bath house, the Rain Harvest Home integrates rainwater-harvest architecture – an uncommon practice despite the region having abundant rainfall.
Each of the buildings features an above- and below-ground reservoir system that purifies and stores rainwater to supply the home throughout the year. The on-site water treatment system is primarily gravity-fed and contains five cisterns that provide potable and treated water. A chemical-free blackwater treatment system also treats wastewater on site, enabling it to be reused as greywater for use in toilets or to water the orchard in the grounds, which together with bio-agriculture gardens, helps to nurture a self-contained food system.
On the aesthetic front, the buildings also articulate a symbiotic relationship with their natural surroundings. Each structure boasts a significant amount of covered outdoor space, blurring the line between interior and exterior. The main residence is configured like a pavilion, with over two-thirds of its footprint standing as outdoor space that can be used all year round. Rectangular and largely horizontal in form, the main house is equipped with roof monitors to allow natural light to filter into all its rooms.This relationship becomes introspective in the bathhouse, which features a hot bath, a steam shower, a sauna and a washroom that encircle a cold plunge pool that’s left open to the sky.