We love it when a residence undergoes a transformation so drastic that it's hard to recognise the original layout. This huge, decadent home in the Mexican state of Sonoroa is one such lucky home.
In the original design, the facade was functionalist, the living rooms staid with heavy furnishings and the generous back garden area had yet to reach its full potential.
It's not always fair to compare contemporary design against older homes with out-dated features. Some of us still even feel the nostalgic pull of older style features and fine detailing. But this transformation is so stunning that it's sure to receive all around admiration.
The architect, Juan Luis Fernandez, started with a functionalist home with classic details and typical, older style separate living areas. There were no structural plans available, but this turned out to be a benefit as the design process was characterised by a sense of surprise and an attitude of fresh exploration.
Come join us for a photo tour of this property before and after its makeover.
The two storey concrete façade was probably quite cutting edge at the time of construction. But, it also had a definite lack of integration with its surroundings. Such bold structures were common during the explosion of the post modern era, where we saw large buildings made from hard materials, without any definite form or shape. Coming into the modern day, these buildings are either loved or disliked because of their boisterousness.
The heavy overhanging concrete panel across the top of the facade has disappeared and the result is a much lighter feeling facade.
The plants that were blocking light to the front of the residence have been removed and larger trees have been planted on the edge of the street. This opens up the home and allows the home a more airy, welcoming ambience. Natural wooden finishes have also been integrated into the facade while a large parking garage offers a more aesthetically pleasing parking option.
The living area was one big empty room with an old wooden bar relegated to the one side of the room. The room is cavernous, but lacking in homeliness and visual variety.
What an inspiring open plan makeover! The room has been transformed one big cavernous space into two, very distinctive living zones. The central feature here is the contemporary stone fireplace that separates the newly installed kitchen from the lounge room. A variety of natural textures and finishes have also been added to the space. These range from the thick wooden ceiling beams to the single stone-wall and of course, the stone fireplace. This is a room brimming with new life.
A heavy staircase dominated the lobby area. While it may have been impressive in its day, it didn't really add much to the functional potential of space.
The dominance of the staircase has been greatly diminished. Instead, emphasis has been laid on the potential of the actual living areas. From this side of the staircase, we can see the long, uncomplicated lines of a breakfast bar and the large dining table that now occupy this space.
The wooden kitchen design did little to offset the low height of the room. Heavy ornate kitchen furniture fills every available space. Overall, the area seems claustrophobic and naturally out-dated.
The kitchen cabinets have all been replaced with minimalistic wood finishes. The one notable difference is the lack of any cabinetry on the right where the kitchen is connected to the living areas. This greatly expands our sense of space in the room and of course, invites bucket-loads of light and air into the room.
The terrace here seems to do little more than create a barrier against the outdoor space on offer. Vast areas of shade have been created to protect against the harsh sun. Though impressive, the classical columns seem to create yet another barrier against the light, air and natural potential of the garden lawn.
Here we come to the final and perhaps most impressive of all the transformations on offer. The removal of the heavy columns has completely opened up the outdoor entertaining area. Most notably, a deep pool has been installed and a glass walled media room has been built on the far left.
If you are interested in impressive transformations, you would love this Modern Seaside Restoration.