chain + siman nestles year-round multigenerational retreat within the mexican forest

chain + siman nestles year-round multigenerational retreat within the mexican forest

‘la casa de la abuela’, a three-volume concrete dwelling


Nestled within reach of Lake Valle de Bravo in Mexico, ‘La casa de la Abuela’ is a year-round retreat that draws inspiration from its peaceful setting to create a warm, elegant home. The name translates to ‘Grandma’s House’, for this residence is a pivoting point for a multigenerational close knitted family. Completed by Chain + Siman, the three-volume retreat features ‘wide, double-height spaces that accentuate the connection with the exterior through views of the lake. The house was intentionally oriented towards the west so residents could enjoy the sunset from the master bedroom and terrace,’ writes the practice.


Being so close to the lake, the site underwent a soil compaction process. The architects also resorted to a monolithic, reinforced concrete structure to achieve a solid grip on such loose grounds. Each volume’s exterior walls were then clad in locally handcrafted white brick, whose measurements helped map out the house’s proportions. Two of the three volumes, set parallel to each other, bear gabled roofs with flat black tiles. Inside, Austrian-engineered wood overlays the floors, walls, and ceilings. 

la casa de la abuela 1
all images © Rafael Gamo



chain+ siman’s master suite-inspired design


Everything at ‘La casa de la Abuela’ revolves around the concept of a master bedroom and visual continuity. ‘This project was designed with the dynamics of a master suite in mind,’ explains the practice. ‘The interconnected rooms allow the client to pass through several spaces with just a few steps. We also maximized the wooden aesthetic to maintain the same architectural language throughout.’


The living room appears as an open, communal space, flanked by a master bedroom on one side, the family room on the other, and an open terrace with a Jacuzzi at the rear. A motorized louvered canopy with its drainage system was placed on the deck to allow sunlight into the rooms while providing coverage against the rain when needed.


At the front of the house, the family room features its own terrace and access to the mezzanine, which doubles as a spare bedroom with a set of sliding doors. More importantly, ‘L a casa de la Abuela’ is almost completely surrounded by vegetation, creating a visual boundary that extends the perception of space while providing privacy. 

la casa de la abuela 8



Finally, special attention was given to the lighting design. ‘We approached its conceptualization as though the project were a museum in which we did not know where the illuminated elements would be placed — and solar panels were placed on the roof to reduce energy consumption. The resulting composition gives the impression of a nearly stage-like space, producing a blend of functional and accent lighting. In addition, the diffused light among the three main rooms helps accentuate the wood’s warm tones and creates a cozy and inviting ambiance,’ concludes Chain + Siman

la casa de la abuela 9
the entire design revolves around the master suite concept

la casa de la abuela 12

la casa de la abuela 6

la casa de la abuela 3
accentuating the wooden aesthetic throughout the house


la casa de la abuela 5
main bathroom at ‘La casa de la Abuela’

la casa de la abuela 4

la casa de la abuela 10
a multigenerational retreat in the heart of the mexican forest





project info:


name: La casa de la Abuela

location: Valle de Bravo, Estado de México, México
architecture & interiors: Chain + Siman | @chainsiman

landscape design: Pedro Sánchez Paisajismo | @pedro_sanchez_pasajismo

photography: Rafael Gamo | @rafaelgamo 

completion year: 2020 

built area: 660 sqm



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

architecture in mexico (612)

chain + siman (4)

concrete architecture and design (720)

residential architecture and interiors (3966)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.