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2016 MCHAP.emerge


T38 Studio

Tijuana, Mexico

August 2015


Alfonso Medina


Joseph Ruiz Tapia / T38 Studio (Lead Designer)


Luis Reynoso


Fran Parente


The house consists of three monolith-like volumes that are perforated in the center by a glass passageway. One of the important objectives was to achieve the correct balance between openness and privacy. Although there are no windows facing the street in the living areas, one is still able to perceive the flow of people traversing from one space to the other through these glass passageways, relating a kind of performative action towards the outside. The black volumes, which read like boxes from the street, shift their section through the folding of the concrete roof slabs in order to reflect the trapezoid condition of the plan in the back elevation. Contrasting qualities of surface texture, light and shadow, open and closed space, soft and hard scape, were concepts that interested us and drove the design decisions during the entire process until the completion of the project.


TLP is located in a residential neighborhood on the upper part of a hill in the city of Tijuana, an incredibly dynamic city that sits on the world’s busiest land border with the city of San Diego. The house is composed of three volumes that contain the main living spaces. The shape of these three volumes, trapezoidal prisms, respond to the irregular shape of the plot. It is a project that revolves around the ideas of private and open space and how such concepts are perceive through the street, responding to questions of what program should be more hidden and what program should be more exposed to the outside. The way in which the public perceives or doesn't the way the residents "dwell" became a very strong driver throughout all the processes.


TLP house was conceived as a structure that challenges the preconceptions of private and open space, thus providing different stages that challenges the concepts of solid and void, light and shadow, rough and smooth surfaces. The results of the juxtapositions of this different concepts provide very dynamic spaces that invite for different program performances. While the glass bridges on the one hand showcase the movement of the dwellers throughout the house, the spaces between each volume is interpreted and used in different ways by each resident. We were very interested in the way the residents would move though the house on their daily lives and how the choose to inhabit every single space of it, and how this actions are perceived or hidden from the public street.

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