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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nature factored into the built form

By Neehar Mishra
Photography: Rafael Gamo; courtesy the architect

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Bringing together natural elements and modern design aesthetics, Natura Archetonic - a residential project led by Mexican architect Jacobo Micha Mizrahi - is a study in how man’s basic need for shelter creates a synergy between the natural and manmade environment.

Located in Ciudad Satélite in northern Mexico City, Natura has a total area of 22,770 sqm that constitutes 344 units; distributed among six housing blocks of six storeys each and a 15-floor building of residential apartments. The apartment building houses residences on the upper floors, while the lower ones are for amenities. The two sections are connected at the heart of the project - an enormous central garden - thus serving as the proverbial oasis in the desert, a spurt of natural and modern architectural beauty in an otherwise drab industrial area. 

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Natura’s structure appears to be fragmented and dispersed in a bid to emulate the natural phenomenon of the detachment of tree leaves. The residential blocks are box-like structures made from a mix of glass and white concrete. Inside, the all-white interiors are interspersed with earthy tones of green and brown, yet again blending the indoors with elements from the outdoors.

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Open spaces are bountiful in Natura, with terraces, balconies and open corridors and staircases affording stunning views of the surroundings. These open spaces ensure ample ventilation, while the use of glass makes way for sufficient natural light. The residential units occupy an area of 90 x 148 sq. m, while the rest has been landscaped into open green spaces and stone walkways.

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With a geometric design that incorporates straight lines and asymmetrical shapes and edges, Natura is the epitome of modern, almost futuristic, and minimalistic architecture while staying true to its natural essence – an exercise in the evolution of building material.

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