Pascal Arquitectos, the Mexico City-based practice established by brothers Carlos and Gerard Pascal in 1979, has realised this multi-award winning Mourning House located in Mexico City’s residential area of Bosques de las Lomas. Described by the architects as a ‘project with very strong emotional implications’, this modest, strikingly solemn building has been completed in 2006 and has been inspired by the Mayan tombs in Palenque and Ancient Egyptian mastabas. To comply with the strict rules and building codes of Jewish Religion, a group of scholars oversaw the project throughout its completion.
From the architects:
‘This is a project with very strong emotional implications. We had to understand the mood of the user, who at such this moment would not care very much for an aesthetical analisis of any place, but at the same time we wanted to create a space that can create a spritual mood, for this we refered to ancient buidings that were designed for this purpose, as the Egiptian “Mastabas” or the Mayan buildings in Palenque.’
‘A project of this nature must encourage introspection and peaceful visual harmony through a discrete use of materials and lighting. The construction is located in a residential area and being planned as an isolated construction from the sorroundings, an indoor illuminated yard was built. The building façade is completely covered by Grissal flamed granite. ‘
‘No furniture was used inside this place, only a floating bench surrounding the room, that is made out of the same wood used in all the building. It also serves to hide all of the air conditioning, speakers and recesed lighting which adds a dramatical touch. This way the rooms shows no added ornament but the light and shades playing on the granite volumes.The ceiling is made of dark cumaru wood and floats without touching any wall and a skylight puts a highlight on this detail.’