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2018 MCHAP.emerge

Midwife House

Ana Belvet Echevarria de Gracia

Kokil, Mexico

July 2017


Belvet Echevarria Monica Petricioli Macias Eliseo Lucero Calderon Adrian Fernando Sanchez Ramirez Roberto Contreras Ochoa


Juan Manuel Casillas Pintor (Constructive Advisor) Jesica Amescua Carrera / Comunal Taller (Project Advisor) Mariana Ordoñez Grajalez / Comunal Taller (Project Advisor)


Manuel Lopez Giron


Onnis Luque Rodriguez


Further than building a house, we look forward to build community, with an architectural object that addresses the need of a proper space in which traditional midwives could attend pregnant women, praising their ancestral labor that is offered as a solidary service. This house pretends to become a replicable model, enhancing the preservation of traditional midwives' practice. Following our main goal, the project looks for recovering traditional building techniques, which take advantage of local resources, making them low embodied energy materials. During this process, community members were involved promoting a solidarity atmosphere within. Achieving a symbiosis between traditional experiences and technical knowledge. This is fulfilled by the implementation of a participative design process between midwives, community members and students. Making an evolving project through the process, that adjusts constantly in order to solve each specific necessity. In this way, architecture is a game changing tool that transcends barriers, providing more conscious solutions according to the specific cultural, climate and environmental conditions.


Immersed in a tropical mountainous region, emerges a Tzeltal community named Kokil, where 90% of pregnant women prefer to be attended by traditional midwives, who speak the same language as them, rather than doctors who are unaware of their culture and traditions. Since midwives don´t have special equipment or an adequate place to offer their services, they receive pregnant women in their own bedrooms, which in the majority of cases, does not gather optimal hygienic conditions. In addition to this, these places are inaccessible due to the lack of road infrastructure and rugged topography. Since we became aware of these facts, the urge to make a difference in the community triggered the creation of a project that could improve the life quality, not only of midwives, but also of the whole community.


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