The first objective in social development is to shift housing construction into more central urban zones, giving residents increased access to the benefits of urban life. A social net must be created that is based not on formal urban or architectonic configurations, but rather the construction process itself. This prototype is therefore contingent on the possibility of development by the hands of its inhabitants, not developers or architects. This adaptability permits a reconfiguration of programs and activities that dictate the functioning of one or more families. Collective effort and subsequent social dynamics generate hierarchy in these new domestic spaces, and breathe life into the urban structure.
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 of construction. Both the simplification of services and collection of rainwater are significant aspects of the design. Moreover, the distribution of program is designed to take advantage of the best quality of light, thereby reducing electrical consumption. The economic strategy of the project focuses on constructing the largest part of the house with the least possible number of walls, reducing both the initial cost and, perhaps more importantly, the likelihood of multi-generational debt stemming from its construction. Another strategy de- ployed is the incremental and progressive nature of the complex, whereby material can be saved through collaboration and co-habitation between families and neighbors, as they divide the construction expenses and labor of shared walls. The aggregation of family units lends itself to a dense development that aims to unify the existing social tissue, while discouraging uncontrolled urban growth.
The first stages of the project are being developed as a part of the Laboratory of Investigation and Practical Housing Experimentation for INFONAVIT1. It was installed in a territorial reservoir in Apan, Hidalgo.
The 32 projects selected for this laboratory exhibit an architecture of primary elements, straightforward geometries and proportions. Each proposal exhibits potential for growth by aggregation, simple repetition, or various strategies of extension, in ll, and addition. It was important to consider how these proposals, assembled into a collective, would work together toward creating not merely an estate, but a community for Apan.
This site will be used as a space for innovation and investigation for norms, processes and technologies before their application on the housing projects financed by INFONAVIT.