A Modern Home In San Pedro Juxtaposes Its Mountainous Surroundings

A modern home in the old part of San Pedro is a testimony to the juxtaposition of a city in the middle of the mountains and abandoned industries brought back to life – all highlighted within a black-and-white color scheme.

“This house is a manifestation of using resources produced by, and within, the local area,” shares Cesar Guerrero, who, with his wife, Ana Cecilia Garza, are the principal architects of the Mexican-based S-AR design studio that built this family home on a corner lot. “These elements all have a relationship with the area.”

The most dominant feature is the structure’s two-story-tall, black cube that rests upon three volumes of concrete. The locally-sourced bricks, painted black, are specially designed to capture insulating air, as well as to allow the insertion of needed steel support bars.

The high-quality concrete found throughout the home was poured by skilled local workers.

“It’s not necessarily cheaper,” Guerrero says of the concrete. “But there’s a lot of knowledge from the different generations that have been working here. The concrete can be used to create a lot of textures.”

On the ground floor, the steel, glass and concrete create a utilitarian space, including a multipurpose garage area, a nanny unit and the backyard. Upon climbing to the second level in the black box, the living area opens into a naturally light-filled living, dining and kitchen area. Here, the family’s social activities take place, all raised up from the street for privacy. A smattering of wood furniture accents the white cabinetry and black-framed walls.

The light-filled, white stairwell offers an expansive experience for entering the rooftop deck, creating a transition from the third-floor bedroom level to the scenic outside deck. The angular black and white graphic elements reflect the industrial history of the area, leading the way to the contrasting natural deck area.

“We tried to give each element a personality of importance,” explains Guerrero. “The color of the material itself has to do that.”

Photography by Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal.

For more like this San Pedro home, be sure to check out this project from architect Michal Kovac.

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