After 15 years of visiting San Miguel on a regular basis, New York Architect and Designer Jacqueline Miró decided to build her own residence, which she completed in 2022. After many viewings of lots and existing houses, she settled on two adjacent small structures in a charming alley near the church of Beneficencia, in Zona Centro. The project involved hiring long time SMA resident and high-end contractor Theresa Wachter to achieve Miró’s design by demolishing the existing structures, terracing, building contention walls, and legally joining the two lots before building the house.
Miró’s inspiration is rooted in modernism, as well as the colonial architecture of Antigua Guatemala, lighter and more minimal in style than the colorful colonial architecture of Mexico. Casa Clara is a hidden Oasis in a residential alley in the middle of Centro, the most popular area of San Miguel de Allende. The large entry door (built of ending, the wood from which door churches are historically carved) leads unto a cool, dark four-point, 20’ height arch with views onto a garden, designed by SMA landscape architect Timoteo Wachter, with a central recinto volcanic rock designed by Miró. The lava floors, typical of San Miguel exterior walkways leads unto a half-story covered walkway and a fresco dining area. Floor to ceiling glass doors – handmade for each space by local iron workers – open unto the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is designed to accommodate a 10’ by 3’ table, and to sit 10 people. The kitchen counter and backsplash are 4” solid local Cantera stone, and features imported stainless steel appliances provided by Counter Cultures. The custom encino wood cabinets provide plenty of space, as does a walk-in cubbard. This level also houses a powder/laundry room and the guest bedroom with adjacent shower/bath and w/c separated areas.
The center of the house is a spiral poured concrete staircase, with lava stone and polished cement threads. The minimalist handrail was forged in blackened steel by local artisans.
The stair landing leads to a balcony right outside the master bedroom (also with an ensuite w/c and shower/bath area) and the Living and second bedroom area. The house becomes much lighter, with sand-colored polished concrete floors and white plastered walls, as the floor to ceiling windows continue the rhythm of the story below. The large living room features a hand carved cantera gas burning fireplace and is sparsely furnished to allow for an open home office space and library shelves.
The stairs lead up to the terrace, with breath taking views of San Miguel and the sunset. A pergola with mature plants allows resting on a hammock or creating an outside living room.
Features of the house:
10’ ceiling height
Water filtering system
Water pressure system cistern (as well as city water)
LED lighting throughout new electrical
Plumbing new fixtures and appliances
Ceiling fans throughout
3 bedrooms 3-1/2 bathroom
Soaking tubs separate toilet rooms
Owners closet on terrace
Mature gardens and plantings
Custom furniture by Casa Midi, Habitación 116, Namuh and Sofi’s Home