in chihuahua, mexico, urban operations has designed residence EF’ as a lookout house opening towards its lush natural surroundings. the 418 m2 dwelling is nestled on a hillside with the intention of climbing the slope to gain views of the landscape, while intervening as little as possible with the local topography. 

lookout house 9
all images by raúl villalobos



utmost respect for the natural environment was one of the client’s main requests. therefore, urban operations followed through with their design, while aiming to preserve the topography, as much as possible. the numerous oak trees scattered throughout the plot, guided the architects in determining the exact location of the house. in this way, the new structure preserves the pre-existing vegetation, while connecting closely to its context. 

lookout house 12



the design approach originates from the concept of creating a contemporary country house, covering the basic needs of the residents and providing privacy to the interior. although the area is already quite peaceful, the design seeks to create a place where one can find serenity, and be one with nature.

lookout house 7



the conceptualization of the volumetry starts from a transparent horizontal box, which is interrupted by solid vertical volumes that fulfill various functions. within the interior, these vertical volumes house the service spaces, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, warehouse areas, and kitchen extensions. outside, they protect the large glass panels from the sun and help frame the views from the inside.

lookout house 6



the dwelling extends as a large terrace that projects views of the countryside, in contrast to the privacy offered by the rear facade. the program is organized on two separate levels. behind the house, on the second floor, there is an informal entrance emerging through a roof deck, that functions as an open garage and in turn connects the volume of the closed garage with that of the house.

lookout house 1



at the same level, the basic housing program unravels. it is accessed through a small lobby that immediately connects a living room with the largest window in the house. on this same floor, the design allocates the main bedroom that enjoys vast views of the surroundings. on the opposite side of the floor and connected visually through a longitudinal hallway, there is the kitchen and dining room.

lookout house 2



the interior of the house is conceived as a fluid and continuous space, with a visual connection throughout the entire floor. the living room is connected to a semi-basement through a staircase. this space houses a guest bedroom, along with a family gathering space that has a direct connection to a private outdoor area protected by the immediate environment.

lookout house 5

lookout house 4



project info:

name: residence EF
designer: urban operations
location: cuauhtemoc, chihuahua, mexico



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: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom