elemental architecture: 'las anacuas' monterrey, mexico
elemental architecture: 'las anacuas' monterrey, mexico elemental architecture: 'las anacuas' monterrey, mexico
aug 19, 2009

elemental architecture: 'las anacuas' monterrey, mexico

‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico – social housing all photos © ramiro ramirez image courtesy elemental architecture




we have just received images of chilean firm elemental architecture‘s project ‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico. they were commissioned by the government of nueva leon, mexico to design 70 units in a middle class neignborhood in santa catrina. the social housing project consists of a continuous three story building in whose section contains a superimposed single apartment (first level) with a two story unit (second and third level). both units are designed to facilitate the technical and economical living standard of the middle class.


given that almost 50% of the square footage of the development will be ‘self-built,’ this building is porous so future growth occurs within its structure. the continuous roof cover proposed over the volumes and voids protects the addition zones from rain and assures a definitive profile of the building to the public space. the project is currently under construction and is due to be completed this year.

‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico – construction

‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico – construction

‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico – rendering

‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico – rendering

‘las anacuas’ in monterrey, mexico – site plan

  • Borring square boxes? It might be elemental, but it’s not architecture.
    why posting this?

    j.kosdikof says:
  • what a project so terrible!
    ¿Where is the humanity of this design ?

    What happens in the mind of this generation of architects who want to make everything square and painted white? as if that were a good example of architecture

    Have you forgotten the meaning of home?

    here in méxico, the meaninig of a house, is our home, our dreams and expectations, not this bad design

    alberto caballero c. says:
  • Unlike those above, whom probably no nothing about architecture and MUCH , MUCH LESS about social housing….
    precisely, this is architecture, CONTEMPORARY conscious architecture. The best present in the world!!!

    have you even seen Dutch architecture?, is that wrong too? you must be out of your mind. This is precisely the kind of social architecture we need today!.

    Unless… you consider american (United States) architecture (if that is how you can call it) good example. American Architecture is 90% trash, 5% good american architecture and 5% architecture being made by non americans.

    More posts should be uploaded here

    juanco says:
  • poor Mexico, always in the bottom. thank you for show this example.

    Robert Cannon says:
  • What a terrible example of “mexican design”!

    brenibren says:
  • you don’t even know what Elemental is about, isn’t just about making social housing.
    you better check out the roots of it. and it is not mexican design but chilean.

    check out this:


    in the next link you’ll find the first project made by Elemental, named Quinta monroy, an example o really social housing, where they got smart ideas, not big or beautyfull ideas:


    orlando says:
  • Social housing doesn’t have to be ugly, squarish, repetitive or boring. This is worse than Berlin in the 60’s
    This doesn’t represent the rich mexican architecture, it’s a poor project made by some unlucky guys from Chile.

    a.nussbaumer says:
  • Interesting.

    But afetr having seen all this exemple of Elemental ralisations, i’m just asking how much money they still make with this model ?
    Construction budget ? Even their internet website doesn’t know..

    Anyway, this proposition has those evolving spatial possibilities (add new parts – as YOU wish or need) that help appropriation and assure the viability of it.


    Hoax says:
  • te pasate!!!

    ed says:
  • te pasaste!!! wey.

    ed says:
  • La vivienda social es importante sea como sea, es un servicio que cualquier gobierno debe ofrecer independientemente de las características arquitectónicas.

    Qué fácil es hacer una critica sin saber el verdadero proceso que llevó a la construcción de este proyecto.

    Lo más importante de éste proyecto son las personas que van a habitar estas viviendas, independientemente de dónde haya salido el diseño o si tienen determinada forma.

    De ahí viene y se remarca “vivienda social”.

    Darío Elizondo says:
  • Darío Elizondo wrote in Spanish and being in an english site here is the translation:

    Social housing apearance is not important, every government should provide it, regardless of the design.

    Is not it easy to criticize without learning the basis of this project.

    The main reazon for this project is the ensured, who will get a home, regarthless of the inspiration or the shape.

    That is the point of social housing.

    Rui says:
  • It is nice that there is floor through ventilation and natural lighting; My apartment is more like the back-to-backs design of the industrialization, giving as much view to rural nostalgics as possible, till across the street.
    There is no easy access to door bell and mail box.
    The are no security bars on the first floor windows, and soon the setlers will be looking for it in the local market. It could be an effort for homogenious design on the whole project.
    I disagree when it is thought to encourage self-building, because there is no yard within walls. It could gather junk, like buckets and other carried tools. Also expect clothes hanging and vases for plants.
    There was no attemp to create local facilities, as it is hard for everyone to imagine any profit being made, and the standing-by shops are broken into for playing, hiding, throwing garbage and even toilet.
    I belive they suit the ensuranced people, considering they have lots of children, few toilets and rooms, but they keep them scared and in control when inside and let them be when outside. Sad though.

    Rui says:
  • this is the example of the Copy /Paste in Architecture

    the place do not rules?

    is the governated money!!!!!!

    better is architecture without architect

    Daguerressarq Francisco J Carrasco says:
  • alejandro aravena rules ! fuck design

    gert says:
  • ratoneras las anacuas monterrey porca miseria de casas y a precios exorbitantes que abuso para la gente que con tal de tener su casita propia le venden un rincon haciendole creer que es lo moderno y funcionala donde vamos a parar con estos abusos

    munoz says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,548 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample