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Casa Zilin

Taller Gabriela Carrillo + Israel Espín

Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

January 2023


Gabriela Carrillo (Partner), Israel Espín (Partner)


Israel Carrión (Design Team), Grupo Sai (Structural Design), Estudio Esterlina (Interior Design), Luz en Arquitectura (Lighting Design)


Enrique Tamés


Rafael Gamo


This work responds to resonate with the least impact on the land, the landscape, and its neighbors. It has been designed to take advantage of all possible orientations and allow light, wind, and shade to flow without restrictions, while the veiled and crossed views offer a 360-degree experience towards all cardinal points. A liberated and unrestricted space, hedonistic in its relationship with nature and the tension that arises from the surrounding mountains and the horizontality of the social space. At the same time, the house has two pieces that acquire their intimacy by fitting perfectly into the topography and disappearing, becoming a garden wrapped in natural topography and the characteristic rocky landscape of the area. The feeling of taking a bath without limits, finding the gaze of the other crossed by the void and light, the stars, the mountain, and the silence of the central valley. A minimalist, flexible, and limitless space, carefully integrated into the subtle topography to make it accessible and comfortable for its inhabitants. Two planes articulate the light, creating a floating observatory of stars that manifests itself in the shadows, the entry of wind, and the vertical connection that unites the two levels of the main body.


Nestled discreetly within the rugged terrain of Baja California, Zilin House is a subtle yet striking landscape incision. This space serves for various activities, housing areas for lectures, work, contemplation, rest, and dining, all within its constructed walls. The house's clear north-south orientation allows it to emerge from the horizon in symbiosis with the surrounding stone formations and native vegetation. Latticed windows pave the way for a seamless integration with the mountain landscape, inviting the outside in. Part of the Cuatro Cuatros masterplan, Zilin House sits amidst vast vineyard landscapes, forming a boundary between the Pacific Ocean and the inland terrain. Despite the region's drastic topography, the house finds its place effortlessly within the landscape, blending with the natural contours of the land. Zilin House provides a space for contemplation, relaxation, and immersion in the awe-inspiring landscape.


Zilin House intricately engages with the site's topography, serving as a harmonious link between the ecological reserve and the housing compound. Framing stunning mountain views and reflecting the sky, it stands as an organic extension of the landscape. The central staircase, akin to a backbone, navigates the various levels of the house, illuminated solely by a delicate wooden lattice. In the nigh, the house acts as a beacon within the landscape. Sustainability is at the forefront of the project's design ethos. Through passive solutions such as solar energy utilization, water recycling systems, and minimal territorial interference, Zilin House ensures user comfort while respecting the surrounding environment. Its approach seeks to preserve the native flora and fauna, landscape integrity, and natural light, minimizing ecological footprint while maximizing harmony with nature.

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