From Territory to Inhabitant
As a historical colonial town and present-day touristic attraction, Taxco's distribution of services and economic opportunities have become centralized. As a result, the population has begun to settle in the periphery and outer areas where there is a lack of services and infrastructure. Another issue is reflected in the lack of utilitarian housing, where the spectacular image of the city has caused a shift towards formal solutions in architecture that do not correspond to local construction methods and lead to a rise in costs.
The first objective in social development is to shift housing construction into more central urban zones, to give residents access to the city life. Secondly, a social net is created not only based on a a formal urban or architectonic configuration, but rather the construction process itself. The prototype is open to the possibility of development by the hands of the inhabitants instead of a developer or architect. This adaptability permits a reconfiguration of programs and activities concerning the functioning of one or more families. The social dynamics and the collective effort give life to an urban structure and a hierarchy to its spaces that defines privacy. Finally, the issue of social development is addressed by using the form of a shell that helps reduce the costs of non-consolidated housing, like the continuous remodeling caused by poor use of materials and bad administration in the construction phase.
The economic strategy of the project focuses on constructing the largest part of the house with the least possible number of walls, reducing the cost and making sure the house doesn’t become the cause of debt that lasts for generations. The other strategy deployed is the incremental and progressive nature of the complex, where material can be saved through the collaboration and cohabitation between families and neighbors, as they divide the construction expenses of the shared walls. The configuration of the complex growth pushes towards a dense development that aims to unify the existing social tissue instead of encouraging an uncontrolled urban growth.
Both the simplification of the services and the collection of rainwater are significant in the design of the rural house. Moreover the distribution of the program is set to take advantage of the best quality of light to reduce electric consumption as much as possible.
Architect: Frida Escobedo
Design team: Frida Escobedo, Andres Harvey, Federica Lombardi
Location: Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico