Social housing, Forest areas, Mexico

EDAA Scope: design
Area: 48-138 m² (517- 1485 sqft)
Design team: Luis Arturo García in collaboration with Juvencio Núñez
Consultants: Jorge García (structural engineering), Andrés Sosa (cost engineering)
Client: CONAFOR (National Forestry Comission of Mexico)

Materializing a rural dwelling within a reduced area and budget in Mexico’s countryside requires thinking beyond containers or habitable shelters. In this scenery, a fine balance between a traditional and a contemporary spirit must prevail. To profit from industrialized processes, as a cost-reducing strategy, they must not contravene the man-idiosyncrasy-nature relationship.

A luxurious space is often defined first by its extension and then by the materials employed for its construction. If a minimum house has high ceilings and the possibility of space continuation to the outside, then it has the potential to achieve a luxurious space condition.

In an attempt to build social housing and to avoid unplanned or undesired settlings, Mexico’s Federal Government, through the CONAFOR (National Forestry Commission), launched a public competition to design minimum housing for mass construction in rural areas. The commission was to design houses using wood as a sustainable material, to ensure the possibility of future house expansion with the use of a limited budget and area.

This proposal is neither a refuge, nor a module, nor a minimum habitable unit. It is a dwelling, a house in every sense of the word. It is a home. It is a space that unfolds until it merges with its surroundings and then folds back again creating its own microcosms. It is a room for introversion, meditation, family cohesion and organic merging with the context. This proposal examines transparency and intimacy, as well as permanency, transcendence and identity.

San José Insurgentes Mexico City, Mexico |, +52 (55) 5211 8394