Date
April 16, 2020
Share

The Apan Prototype is a self-built social housing for rural Mexico designed by Francisco Pardo Arquitecto.

Designed by Francisco Pardo Arquitecto, the Apan Prototype is part of the project “Del Territorio al Habitante” (“From the Territory to the Inhabitant”). This research program, promoted by INFONAVIT (Housing Institute of Mexico) through the Investigation Center for Sustainable Development (CIDS), seeks to improve the quality of rural-housing and assisted self-construction in the Mexican territory.

The project, which includes experimental proposals by several architectural studios, inspired the creation of a Housing Laboratory in Apan, Hidalgo (Mexico), where 32 housing prototypes were built with the purpose of studying social housing in specific local contexts throughout different regions of Mexico.

Apan Protoype - Del Territorio al Habitante
Francisco Pardo Arquitecto’s the Apan Prototype is part of the project “Del Territorio al Habitante” in the city of Apan, Hidalgo – Mexico

Among the others, the systemic prototype by Francisco Pardo Arquitecto is intended to be developed in various rural sites of the municipality of Panotla, in the state of Tlaxcala (Mexico) and is made up of several parts, related through a set of rules and procedures that keep them together and regulate their collective functioning. 

In this proposal, two main elements are the matrix of parceling. First, a perimeter of 8 meters in diameter made of eight wooden fences – of 3 meters each – which circumscribes 50 sqm of private land to enclose the house and to be used for agriculture or livestock. Second, a block structure, with a base of 18 sqm, which includes a small kitchenette, a bathroom and a free space that can be turned into a bedroom. In the upper part, further multipurpose space can be used as a warehouse to store crops or materials.

The Apan Prototype facilitates the adaptation of its exterior and interior environments to the inhabitants’ needs: the private land expands as the family or production grows; while the second internal floor can be used for more specific purposes, even converting the residence into a 36 sqm housing unit.

Apan Protoype - Prototype housing
The Apan Prototype consists of a 2-level block structure, with a base of 18 sqm, which includes a small kitchenette, a bathroom and a free space that can be turned into a bedroom

The spaces on the ground floor are clearly organized and oriented along perpendicular axes and physically connect to the external yard to encourage its cultivation, while the versatile second floor features large windows that open onto the surrounding landscape.

Externally, the house has no clear front: it stands out as an iconic object in the landscape, raised off the ground, with its standard, typological shape – that of a generic house – as the primary feature. The circular, modular fence works at a community scale, fostering integration rather than a separation between adjacent constructions, while simultaneously creating individual green spaces and public areas with different morphologies and uses. 

Apan Protoype - House floor level
The Apan Prototype facilitates the adaptation of its exterior and interior environments to the inhabitants’ needs. The private land expands as the family or production grows and the residence can be converted into a 36 sqm housing unit

The habits of each family shape the private rooms, while collective self-regulation designs the intermediate spaces between the single parcels, molding social and shareable programs.

Francisco Pardo’s residential model – as the overall initiative – effectively offers the opportunity, to families with more modest means and in confined spaces, to personalize daily domesticity, making the inhabitants feel part of a community and consolidating the link between them and the territory.

Apan Protoype - House entrance
Externally, the house has no clear front, it stands out as an iconic object in the landscape, raised off the ground, with its standard, typological shape as the primary feature
Apan Protoype - diningroom/livingroom
Francisco Pardo’s residential model effectively offers the opportunity to families with more modest means and in confined spaces to personalize daily domesticity
Apan Protoype - Interior livingroom
The habits of each family shape the private rooms in the Apan Prototype, while collective self-regulation designs the intermediate spaces between the single parcels
Apan Protoype - bedroom interior
In the upper part of Francisco Pardo’s Apan Prototype, further multipurpose space can be used as a bedroom or even a warehouse to store crops or materials making