A ‘getaway’ house honors both the past and present of Mexico.
By Jimena Martignoni
Grupo de Diseño Urbano
Sixty-five miles south of Mexico City is a pueblo where time
seems to have stopped.
Landscape architect Mario Schjetnan, FASLA, chose Malinalco
20 years ago for building a getaway from Mexico City. The house was initially
planned as a retreat for him and his partners from their firm in Mexico City,
Grupo de Diseño Urbano, but after some years passed he acquired the place for
his family and started a site-modeling process that is still under way today.
Since then, he and his wife have been going to the house during weekends and
summer breaks with their two daughters, witnessing the many changes that the
site incorporated over their lifetime. One of the daughters continues the
tradition of going there almost every Friday with her husband and two-year-old
son, in search of a relaxing stay away from the city. Also, the family loves to
offer the pueblo to friends from other parts of the world who are visiting
The house, as well as its gardens and “patios,” or
courtyards, has changed, evolved, and reshaped with time. But Schjetnan has
made an effort to maintain or incorporate the most typical elements of Mexican
culture into the pueblo.
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