Formal moves drive alternate ways of living that acknowledge the need for private spaces within collective living, but push beyond those limits through spaces that straddle the public. [Completed with Armaan Shah and Susu Dong]
Traditional domestic roles are challenged by blurring infrastructure and domesticity to conflate the scale of a city and the scale of the house. [Completed with Armaan Shah and Susu Dong]
Paseos del Vergel is a complex in Tijuana, Mexico that houses nearly 5,000 people, primarily single mothers. The project creates formal and informal interventions that support community making and foster new forms of domesticity.
Due to faulty construction, homes are delaminating and collapsing. Despite these issues, residents continue to personalize their homes and bring life to the otherwise sterile development.
Removing abandoned units from the mega blocks creates areas for parks, informal markets and food carts, most importantly places emerge where one mother can watch another’s child, alleviating stress of childcare while you are commuting home from work.
The streetscape evolves, breaking the relentless grid, creating space for collective living, and inserting new communal dwellings that provide resources for adjacent buildings such as wifi and potable water.
Interventions are adjustable to accommodate the site and community needs and are additive, bringing schools, markets, and a factory where the additions can be prefabricated.
A new typology for collective living is inserted on vacant lots. In addition, families are encouraged to expand vertically within the existing footprint.
Interventions reduce the number of units but increases housing density by 30%, creating passageways that link families more closely to one another, and to the resources within the site.
Building Blocks is neither top down or bottom up but rather serves as a set of critical interventions and a catalogue of possibilities that allow plug and play based on residents’ needs and desires.
Building Blocks is my proposal for an intervention into the flawed mega housing complexes built on the periphery of borders and cities in Mexico. The project emerged from Fernanda Canales’s Advanced Design Studio where we investigated communities struggling with issues of abandonment and insufficient infrastructure, explored new housing alternatives, and proposed pragmatic yet aspirational interventions. These mega housing developments are suffering from extreme bouts of abandonment because of their false promises, lack of resources, faulty water supply, and segregation from cities.
The proposal stems from collective research into vecindades, a housing typology found throughout Mexico City that weaves together experiences of domestic life through a central corridor where domestic labor can be shared. This research informed conceptual exercises that challenge norms through more flexible relationships between infrastructure and domesticity.
Building Blocks: An Incremental Housing Strategy derives from these collaborative explorations. The project focuses on Paseos del Vergel, a housing complex in Tijuana, Mexico that houses nearly 5,000 people, primarily single mothers with 3,000 identical homes scattered across steep and disconnected topography. The intense terrain impedes communal continuity and circulation between home and school, housing project and city. Moreover, faulty construction has caused a substantial portion of the homes to delaminate and collapse. Despite these issues, residents continue to personalize their spaces and bring life to the otherwise sterile development. Extending the ways that residents have already improved the development, my project seeks to learn from these adaptations and create formal and informal interventions that support this community making.
The project utilizes an incremental mixed-use housing strategy that invests across the entire site through a series of discrete improvements that current and future homeowners can make to their dwellings. By carving and adding into the existing grid, the project seeks to be neither top down or bottom up, but rather serves as a portfolio of critical interventions and a catalogue of possibilities that allow plug and play improvements based on residents’ own needs and desires.