Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Alvaro Moragrega has earned respect with a distinguished academic background. His credentials and projects are renowned and well-recognized.
Table of Contents
- The Architect
- Zapopan, Mexico: A Vibrant Ecosystem
- L&J Casa Residential Project: A Mexican Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece
- L & J Casa: Technical Specifications
- The Living Room
- Adjacent to the Dining Area
- The Kitchen Area
- The Bedroom, Bathroom and Dressing Room
- L&J Casa Image Gallery
- L&J Casa Floor Plans
- In Conclusion
|Architecture from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO)||Participated in an exchange program with the Universidad Iberoamericana de México|
|Master in Architecture degree program from UCLA||Masters Degree of Architecture by the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña with a scholarship from the same university in the program Master de La Gran Escala, La Arquitectura de los Nuevos Entornos under Eduard Bru|
|Doctorate of Architectural Projects also at the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña with many projects under Tonet Sunyer in Barcelona||Co-founded Hipogeo in 2000 in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico|
|Taught at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) University for a period of two years from 2002||Founded his architectural firm in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2007 where he currently lives and works|
The Architectural Firm
In 2007, Alvaro Moragrega founded his architectural studio in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has notable mentions of his academic pursuits. He was selected twice as a forerunner for the Obras Cemex Award and received honorable mentions for Seattle’s “Urban Intervention: The Howard S. Wright Design Ideas Competition for Public Space” competition and a competition for the “City Town Square” on Medina del Campo, Spain.
Zapopan, Mexico: A Vibrant Ecosystem
Zapopan is a city located in the state of Jalisco and the project is located in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, and the home of the Alvaro Moragrega. Zapopan is the second-largest city in Jalisco and is a close second to Guadalajara proper. Zapopan is famous for its Virgin Mary (Virgin of Zapopan) built in the 16th century, has been credit for miracles, and was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1979.
Zapopan is derived from the Nahuatl word “tzapotl” or “sapote” and means “among the sapote trees”. The city is also nicknamed a former corn village (“ex Villa Maicera”) as it once was a major corn producer. The city was founded in 1541.
Close to seventy-five percent of Zapopan’s land is dedicated to agriculture and livestock. Fifteen percent of the city’s land is forested with the rest dedicated to urban environments. The region is rich in various crops including mango, avocado, tomato, sorgo, maize, pumpkin, plums as well as pigs and poultry.
The region’s economic profile may be surprising to the uninformed. Only three percent of the population works in agriculture but thirty-three percent of the population works within industry and manufacturing. Companies like Coca-Cola, Motorola, Intel, Flextronics, Sabrina, and Jaguar have operations. Yes, even Walmart, Home Depot, and Office Depot are here. The remaining sixty-four percent of the population works in trade and related services.
Given the region’s diverse economic profile, Zapopan has many shopping malls, private hospitals, and high-cost residential areas. Zapopan is the second-richest city in Mexico, only behind San Pedro Gaza Garcia of the Monterrey Metropolitan Area. It is claimed to be one of the richest regions in the Americas. This will now help you understand why there is a beautiful Mid-Century Modern home like the L&J Casa in Zapopan.
Zapopan is home to Centro Cultural Universitario, a major cultural venue in Western Mexico, and the home stadium for the Mexican soccer team, C.D. Guadalajara. The main structure of Centro Cultural Universitario is the Auditorio Telmex, an important concert venue for Latin America.
Zapopan is also famous for its original municipal fair started in 2005. The Zapopum Festival has transformed the city into a major cultural event center and serves as a reference point to spread culture to any audience that is familiar with other shows. In 2009, the Festival features circus and acrobatic acts from Italy, Germany, England, and Spain. The Zapopum Festival has attracted as much as 800,000 in recent years prior to the COVID19 pandemic.
L&J Casa Residential Project: A Mexican Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece
It’s no surprise that Alvaro Moragrega was able to be involved with Casa L&J in Zapopan, given his proximity to home but also supported by the rich economic profile of some of its residents.
More clients seek privacy in their residential affairs and projects. Many still seek inspirational views but expect more privacy depending on their personal desires. This project was built adjacent to a golf course in Zapopan, Mexico. Alvaro worked to achieve some balance and designed an L-shaped scheme for the client.
L&J Casa’s main area, leverages mid-century modern appeal, encasing glass and steel, to act as a barrier between private sections of the home and the adjacent golf course. The entire home features a pitched roof with black tiles and emulates a shotgun shack which is really a long, narrow distribution of spaces between public and private areas.
A shotgun-style home is a narrow, rectangular residence. Rooms are arranged between each other and doors appear at each end of the home. This was a very popular style in the Southern United States at the end of the American Civil War through the 1920s. The style has other names such as shotgun shack, shotgun hut, shotgun home, or for a multi-unit, the shotgun apartment. This design can be recognized for its similarity to railroad apartments which emulates the passenger train/rail car.
The historical lineage of the shotgun shack is a bit murky. Some report the style has been traced back to Africa and may relate to the Haitian influences on residential homes in New Orleans. Similar shotgun shack homes can be found in Florida (Key West, Ybor City), Texas, or Chicago.
What is past is prologue. The shotgun home was popular for the poor and middle class but is recognized mainly as the symbol of poverty in the mid-20th century. Many of these homes were destroyed through urban renewal but with gentrification in some areas, residents fought for historical preservation and their renovation upkeep.
L & J Casa: Technical Specifications
|PROJECT NAME||Casa L&J|
|ARCHITECT||Alvaro Moragrega / arquitecto|
|PLOT||20343.79 Square Feet|
|PROJECT AREA||7965.29 Square Feet|
|DESIGN TEAM||Carlos Ruiz Palomino, Emanuel Goñi, Karen Camacho, María José Galindo, Arthur Dalloni; Structural Design: Cero Motion – Juan Jesús Aguirre; General Contractor: Gruval|
The Living Room
At one end of the mid-century modern home, the main entrance unfolds into a robust and spacious living space that features a dining area, fireplace, and piano. Following through, a wooden enclosure contains a storage area and bar and helps to deflect views from the garden.
Adjacent to the Dining Area
Adjacent to the dining area, the structure is graced with Tapia, a rammed earth material. Rammed earth (Taipa in Portuguese, Tapia/Tapia in Spanish) is a construction technique for foundations, floors, and walls. It is made of natural raw materials like gravel, lime, chalk, and earth. It sets a beautiful tone for any mid-century modern interior, connecting natural elements to modern interface and structural design. Thumbs up for the earthy feel.
Within proximity of the dining space, there’s a guest bathroom, laundry room, and pantry. The Tapia divides the main living room from the kitchen and family room.
The Kitchen Area
The kitchen is designed with a structure that is custom-built. It has a beautiful island to support a small stove and makes room for a TV and bookcase at the end. The view from the golf course is blocked, forcing golfers to look at garden and pool areas. Privacy guaranteed.
The Bedroom, Bathroom and Dressing Room
On the other side of the L&J Casa, a hallway connects to the home’s bedroom.
The bedroom is constructed with Tapia (rammed earth) and is about 2.30 feet below the exterior, supporting perfect views into the pool or garden from each bedroom.
Wall composition has a visual yet appealing lateral pattern for each tapia column on one side but is then supported by wooden doors and walls on the other. This provides a division between the bathroom and dressing rooms.
L&J Casa Image Gallery
L&J Casa Floor Plans
We are very impressed with Alvaro Moragrega’s residential project in Zapopan, Mexico. His efforts to create balance with clean, contemporary elements are both natural respect to both mid-century modern and efforts to historically preserve shotgun architecture; sadly, a symbol of poverty in the United States during the mid-20th century.