MZ Progressive Housing (Vivienda Progresiva MZ)
MZ Progressive Housing is a low-cost assisted self-production housing prototype, developed from specific characteristics of Kanasin, Yucatan, Mexico; as well as the customs and aspirations of its people. The prototype is aimed at people who are not candidates for common mortgage loans by their type of work, and allows families to obtain a decent home within consolidated communities that already have urban services. It's cost is $170,000.00 MXN ($9,000.00 USD) and is financed by MZ Grupo's "Créditos para la Vivienda" program.
For many years, social housing policies in Mexico have led cities' growth towards the peripheries of urban centers, causing serious problems for municipalities and their inhabitants, as these massive developments occur in areas where land is very economical, but that do not provide essential urban services, which in some cases are provided, but in many others not. These places are mostly remote and impractical to live due to excessive transporting time to the work areas, so in many cases they have been abandoned, making extremely insecure environments.
The municipality of Kanasin is part of the metropolitan area of the city of Merida, which registers a strong demographic growth due to immigration derived from the search for better labor opportunities in the yucatecan capital; leading to a large number of irregular settlements and all the problems that this entails, including the lack of urban services, crime and the weakening of the social fabric. The housing program consists of a scheme in which the interested party owns a land in an urbanized area, and is supported with financing and technical advice so that they can access a decent home integrally designed from a contextual analysis based methodology, which allows to obtain a specific product and at the same time versatile, capable of linking the inhabitant with its territory and making feasible the possibility of living in consolidated communities.
The basic prototype has 55sqm of construction, which is 36% higher than the average of houses of the same rank.
The volumetry responds to the uses and customs of the local people, and to the optimization of the interior space. The current population profile lives in small spaces, and seeks to make the most of its properties, combining in some cases domestic and productive activities, which is considered in the design. Also, its implementation is adaptable to the dimensions of most of the lots in the area, and provides a progressive and orderly growth according to the various scenarios reflected in the inhabitants’ analysis (rear, lateral and top).
The interior functionality scheme is developed in two bays. The first, of a social nature, consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, area for the altar and hammocks. The second receives two rooms and a bathroom.
The exterior areas recover the values of the traditional "Solar Maya"(Mayan productive backyard) present in the memory of the original inhabitants of the municipality, as well as in most of the immigrants (who are of Mayan origin); but adapted to current needs and aspirations. In the back part, it considers areas for outdoor laundry, for backyard animals, for sowing edible plant, and for endemic vegetation. The frontal alignment generates an open space of a semi-public nature that seeks to encourage neighborhood security through its social activation.
The construction system considers lateral bearing walls which are perpendicular to the public road, formed by prefabricated concrete blocks; which support the flat roof for a future upper extension. This responds to the aspirations and sense of safety of the inhabitants, to the availability of the material, to the replicability of the prototype, to the current self-constructive knowledge of the area, and to the resources and time available for its execution. The climate of the region allows that the nonbearing walls in the front and back sides of the house are made with the same concrete block, placed in a way that works as a lattice, to which a mosquito net fabric is placed for constant natural ventilation, without allowing insects to enter the house. In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, the lattice walls sieve the intense light of the region, reduce insolation, serve as protectors against vandalism and as wind breaks for hurricanes. The system considers interior channels to drain possible water leaks without interfering with the useful areas. This element also means an opportunity for inhabitant's customization because the concrete block grid can be filled with stones, colored glasses, and any type of material that comes to the owners' mind.
The proposed materials reinterpret popular solutions for its integration into the built context, and eliminate subjective cosmetic elements, to allocate those economic resources to spatial quality and to structural integrity. Apparent materials are proposed that allow the subsequent appropriation of the inhabitant.