over the past few years, social housing has become one of the most important and pressing issues on today’s architectural agenda. in light of this — and responding to her country’s dearth of such accommodation — mexican architect tatiana bilbao has developed a project whose objective is to offer good spatial and material qualities at an affordable price. presented at the inaugural chicago architecture biennial, the flexible family dwelling can be constructed for under $8,000 USD. 

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
a central core of rigid concrete blocks is surrounded by modules of wooden pallets
photo by tom harris / © hedrich blessing (main image © designboom)

 

 

in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives, the studio first sought to understand what the prospective tenants would require in terms of the project’s form and function. after several interviews and workshops, bilbao arrived at a design that adopts the form of an archetypal house, with a pitched roof, while adapting to geographic, social, and cultural variations.

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
clothing can be hung externally from the dwelling’s upper level
image © designboom

 

 

the design expands mexico’s minimal federal requirement of 43 square meters per house by building a central core of rigid concrete blocks, surrounded by modules of wooden pallets. this allows the home to be expanded in phases, adapting to each family’s individual budget and requirements, while preserving the home’s external appearance. the scheme’s first phase includes two bedrooms, one bathroom, one kitchen and a five meter-high communal space. further expansions can provide space for up to five separate bedrooms.

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
the home’s wet areas are contained within ventilated timber volumes
image © designboom

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
the project’s first phase includes two bedrooms, one bathroom and one kitchen
photo by steve hall / © hedrich blessing

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
a five meter high living room is found at the heart of the dwelling
photo by steve hall / © hedrich blessing

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
the project was presented during the inaugural chicago architecture biennial
photo by tom harris / © hedrich blessing

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
the prototype was erected inside the city’s cultural center
image © designboom

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
a pink version of the scheme installed in mexico
image © tatiana bilbao estudio 

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
the house has a bright external finish with colored walls
image © tatiana bilbao estudio 

chicago architecture biennial tatiana bilbao sustainable housing mexico designboom
the modular nature of the design means that it can be readily expanded
image © tatiana bilbao estudio

 

 

project info:

 

architects: tatiana bilbao estudio
principal: tatiana bilbao
partners: catia bilbao
office manager: juan pablo benlliure
communication manager: gabriela álvarez
team leader: alba cortés
design team: valentina marchetti, enrique silva, sonia castañón, abelardo bravo, alejandro campos, karen díaz de león
models: rodolfo díaz / photographed by enrique macias

 

chicago architecture biennial lakefront kiosk competition ultramoderne chicago horizon pavilion designboom

 

 

the chicago architecture biennial provides a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.

 

the inaugural chicago architecture biennial, north america’s largest international survey of contemporary architecture, launched in october 2015. through its constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations, and program of events, the biennial invites the public to engage with and think about architecture in new and unexpected ways, and to take part in a global discussion about the future of the field.

 

the chicago architecture biennial is the vision of mayor rahm emanuel for a major international architectural event and an outcome of the comprehensive cultural plan developed by chicago’s department of cultural affairs and special events. it is presented through the support of BP, and in partnership with the city of chicago and the graham foundation for advanced studies in the fine arts.

 

the chicago architecture biennial remains open to the public until january 3, 2015.