Sin Nombre House and Gallery is a minimal space located in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, designed by Associates Architecture. Two-floor house and gallery in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a couple of designers. The apparently monolithic volume, introverted and wrapped completely in white plaster, sits on the existing stone plinth of the lot and surprisingly opens up to a rooftop terrace with sweeping views of the historic center. It’s an exercise in architectural synthesis and spatial inventiveness, that reveals a profoundly conscious, pragmatic approach in exploring and reinterpreting vernacular traditions. Sited in a densely packed neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, along one of the 500-year-old colonial city’s narrow walkways, Sin Nombre Hose and Gallery is a direct reaction to its surroundings and context. The compact 64-block city center, formally arranged along a more precise grid, dissolves into surrounding labyrinth-like roads that irradiate uphills, giving way to a more chaotic urban fabric. The lots and houses represent a defensive attitude, and tend to expose anonymous facades with minimal openings to the outside.

The main concept is to work with an apparently monolithic volume that accommodates a series of microcosms. The muted enclosure, not unlike those facing narrow alleyways in the neighborhood, is a boundary between the exterior and the interior and features private outdoor spaces that offer a sense of repose and tranquility. The design draws from vernacular Mexican architecture, with hidden courtyards tucked inside many buildings, which has been reinterpreted with the architects’ distinctive minimal style and influenced by references to some masters, ranging from Luis Barragán and Mies van der Rohe. The building unfolds as a succession of protected and comfortable interior spaces that demonstrate a fine, minimalist precision and rely on competent local craftsmanship. The house is well crafted throughout, defined by a monochromatic color scheme that evolves into mixed tones as the day and the seasons go by, with elegant light metal window frames made locally, just like the staircase. The muted enclosure — walls, floors and ceilings are all in soft whites — provides the perfect abstract background for the display of furniture pieces designed by the two owners.

Photography by Associates Architecture