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2016 MCHAP

Sustainable Housing

Tatiana Bilbao Estudio

Ciudad Acuna, Mexico

December 2015


Tatiana Bilbao



Patricia Armendáriz INFONAVIT


Ramiro Chaves Jaime Navarro


Within this panorama, we developed a project which most important objective is to create a housing prototype with spatial and material qualities at an affordable price. To be able to achieve such a goal, we needed to know what the people who were actually going to live inside the house needed and wanted in terms of materials, form, function and appearance. After several in-situ interviews and workshops, and in total contrast from what is being built all around the country in terms of social housing, we arrived to a project adopting the form of the archetypical house (two slanted roofs) which adapts to different geographical, social and cultural variations. We expanded the minimal federal requirement of 43 sq. meters (463 sq. ft) per house, by building a central core of rigid materials (concrete blocks) and different surrounding modules of lighter/ cheaper materials (wood pallets) which allow future expansions in different phases, preserving the outside appearance and adapting to each family’s budget, needs and desires. The first phase of the house includes two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen and a double-height dining/living room. The third phase contemplates space for the same rooms and 5 separate bedrooms, with the possibility of adapting each house according to each family’s specific needs.


Social housing has become one of the most important issues in our present day architectural agenda. Only in Mexico, there are more than 30 millions houses all over the country, but with a total population of about 120 million, and with one of the fastest population growth rates in Latin America, the housing shortage constitutes a total of 9 million homes.


In 2014 we built two Houses in Chiapas and 2015 the Prototype for the Chicago Biennale and 17 more in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila. In each place the project has been adapted to different environmental, economical and social factors. We have used different materials like concrete panels and blocks, wood or adobe. Also the program has been adapted to regional customs, one of the houses in Chiapas have an outdoor kitchen and bathroom. The houses in Ciudad Acuña were built in a community that had just been stroke by a tornado. Therefore we used more solid materials to provide a sense of security for the inhabitants. Also the owners have already expanded their houses as expected in the project.

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