Through a career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Mexican painter José María Velasco developed an iconic vision of the Mexican landscape. His work won him multiple national accolades and international recognition, and through it he ultimately created a symbol of national identity out of the geography of Mexico. The painting El Valle de Mexico is considered one of his most important works. In all seven versions of this painting, the elements of the composition remain consistent: the sky, mountains on the horizon, the valley, rocks, vegetation, and vernacular architecture.
The anonymous structures that inhabit Velasco’s rendition of the Valley of Mexico are the departure point for the project of a small house on a ranch in Singuilucan, Hidalgo.
The house takes the development of its facade as a medium to replicate the informal aggregation of volumes and horizontality characteristic of the architectural features in Velasco’s paintings. This irregular silhouette organizes the program linearly in a plan that mirrors the outline of the facade. In an attempt to further emphasize the flatness of the building, the wall extends beyond the limits of the rooms containing the program, creating a linear datum. The limited programmatic requirements of the house are stretched out in a 100-foot-long irregular enfilade, incorporating a storage room at one end of the house and two outdoor spaces adjacent to each of the bedrooms.
operadora. is a creative practice based in Mexico City and Syracuse, New York. Established in 2014, operadora. is led by Edgar Rodriguez, Alexis Ávila, and José Juan Garay.