Domus Aurea is the first house designed in Mexico by the Spanish architect, Alberto Campo Baeza. Although light has been a recurring material in all his works, it will be the main subject in this one. The reflection of natural light acts as a composer of the main space. The project, with the collaboration of the Mexican architect, Gilberto Rodríguez, is a residence built for the TEC drawing of the city of Monterrey.
Domus Aurea appears as a tribute to the great Mexican architect Luis Barragán, who next to Mathias Goeritz, understood the architecture as able to create emotions and sensations that feed the spirit. While these modern architects harnessed the qualities of water, color and light, the attention to color and the manipulation of the natural light are the two driving characteristics that will be used in Domus Aurea or Golden House. These details ensure that not only will the structure be flooded with light, but this particular building will also have the added benefit of containing the exact golden hue used by Luis Barragán.
Domus Aurea demonstrates that light has the ability to shape a space and provide it with a quality to affect man.
In his collected works, The Built Idea, Campo Baeza explains that light has the ability to redefine a space and create emotional responses in those that visit. The Spanish architect understands that architecture arises when there is a dialogue between spatiality, the light that goes through it, and the man who inhabits it. The use of white areas is another instrument capable of catching and reflecting light, thus maintaining a controlled space.
The project encompasses 500 m2 and is functionally divided into three floors linked by a central chamber. It is a diagonal spatiality composed of double height areas, which are unified by the reflection of natural light on the golden wall. The light enters through a large and horizontally significant window placed on the uppermost level. Public areas, such as the living room, dining room, kitchen, are located on the ground floor and continuity to the garden is achieved through verandas. Private areas are located at the upper levels; the secondary level is comprised of bedrooms and another living space that includes a balcony overlooking the ground floor. Finally, a pool is located on the uppermost, roof level which incorporates a magnificent view perfectly framing the Sierra Madre mountains.
Alberto Campo Baeza creates poetry with his architecture and manages to design spaces with a high reliance on the movement of light. Domus Aurea becomes a materialization of his ideas.
Photographs by Javier Callejas.