Global Future Design Awards 2019
Architect: Ramiro Diaz-Granados
Team: Ramiro Diaz-Granados, Russell Thomsen, Daniel Hapton, AJ Rosales
Category: Residential (Concept)
Country: United States
Another great opportunity. APR’s next award Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019 is open for Registration. Don’t miss the chance, its a huge platform for architects.
Infonavit, a ministry of the Federal Government of Mexico has embarked on a national program to engage architects to rethink and improve the quality of public housing throughout the country. The current housing stock is often the result of developer models that employ monotonous
repetition and are indifferent to architectural qualities or the enabling of communities. More
specifically, this project was commissioned to explore the re-densification of a residential block located in Valle Dorado, a suburb located north of Mexico City.
The existing, single story detached houses in Valle Dorado have failed. A lack of community amongst the residents has deprived them of the support structures that contribute to the quality
of a ne ighborhood enclave. This project seeks to move from the architectural problem of a single
house to that of housing, exploring ideas of density, aggregation, difference, and repetition.
Two primary concerns drive the design of the tower prototype: the larger community of spaces that develop when the buildings are aggregated across the length of the city block and the spatial quality of the individual units within the building. The overall mass of the tower building is broken up in plan and section, creating voids for light, air and outdoor space. When multiplied over the length of the block, the complex voids between the buildings create pedestrian walks crossing through the block from one street to another. These walkways lead to outdoor stairs that access the units above and to interior courtyard spaces surrounded by local stores and community services. These outdoor alleys offer the residents a place to share childcare, start small businesses and to gather for communal events.
The living units are located above and accessed by a shared set of outdoor stairs. Although the
units are compact and modest, each has two bedrooms, living space, kitchen, and bath. In
addition, each unit has an outdoor terrace for access to light and air. In order to alleviate the
monotony of the repetitive floors and the constant, flat ceilings often found in this housing type,
the units interlock in section to produce variable spatial volumes animated by natural light.
At the west end of the block, the end elevation of the building is scaled to address the more urban condition of the street with ground floor commercial space and a bus stop. The internal facades are scaled to the more intimate pedestrian life of the courtyard spaces with small, family operated shops, outdoor stairs, and terraces. The building is constructed of board formed, poured in place concrete. The surface patterning of the formwork alternates between horizontal and vertical zones for scale and for a textural ornament that enlivens the exterior. Interior finishes are wood, tile and exposed concrete. As a thermal mass, the building passively heats and cools the interior spaces, utilizing the outdoor terraces as a mediator between inside and outside. The expansive, flat rooftops can accommodate an array of photovoltaic solar panels.