Popular Housing has become one of the most important issues on the agenda of architecture today. There are over thirty million homes in Mexico, but, with a total population of about 120 million people and one of the highest rates of population growth in Latin America, the housing shortage in the country amounts to a total of nine million homes.
Within this scenario, the company W® panel construction system and together with Arch. Tatiana Bilbao developed a project whose major objective is the creation of a prototype house with good spatial qualities and materials at an affordable price. To achieve that goal, it was necessary to know what potential tenants need in terms of materials, form, function and appearance. After several interviews in their localities, and in contrast to most of social housing under construction across the country, they came up with a design that takes the form of an archetypal home (one gable), covering and adapting to geographic, social and cultural variations.
The minimum federal requirement was 43 m² per dwelling, with rigid materials offered by the Constructive System Panel W® panels that are made up of an armature of steel wire and a core that can be expanded polystyrene or polyurethane for long which they are coated expanded concrete and lightweight inexpensive materials surrounding modules as wooden pallets. These allow households to be extended in stages, adapting to the budget and desires of each family, while preserving the outward appearance of a finished house. The first phase of the house has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a dining room. Other expansions can provide space for up to five separate bedrooms.
The call Windy City witnessed this project within the Chicago Architecture Biennale , the largest US architectural event which began on 3 October 2015. In it the amount offered unparalleled proposals and alternatives to meet the housing needs throughout the world, especially the popular sector .
During this event, which develops a strong list of 3 October to January 3, 2016 , at the Chicago Cultural Center and other sites in the city such as Millennium Park, City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, etc. , international studies representing more than 30 countries on five continents and were selected by the directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda , as well as by the board of American architects formed by David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang , Frank Gehry , Sylvia Lavin , Hans Ulrich Obrist , Lord Peter Palumbo and Stanley Tigerman . (Source : Biennial Chicago – chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org )
Panel W® is present at the Biennale of Architecture in Chicago with the so-called HOUSE W , proudly developed project in the state of Chiapas in the ” NA- BOLOM ” Foundation in San Cristobal de las Casas. The dreams of millions of Mexicans fit in 63.35 sqm. That is the space occupied by the so-called People’s House , one of the flagship projects presented at the Biennale of Architecture in Chicago. It has two bedrooms , a bathroom , a kitchen and a dining room in which it has thrived a small great revolution . The house has a very affordable and can be built in less than a month with all the facilities for the installation of doors, windows, ductwork and electrical water .
The prototype is an architectural masterpiece designed by the architect . Bilbao and technical support executives W® Panel . In a country with 120 million inhabitants , demography has been a monster who for decades has crushed the dreams of the weakest. The population has grown much faster than GDP. The result is poor 53 million (11 million of them in extreme poverty) and a gap of nine million homes, as many as two times the population of Ireland. State attempts to fill this shortage has been insufficient. (Source : Diario El País) . The real cost and the middlemen of some construction companies , and a complex bureaucracy in various sectors of the country have reduced the impact of government assistance and to adequate housing become an almost unattainable well in the most backward areas of the country as Chiapas or Oaxaca.
The prototype achieved is extremely functional and sustainable, the work is unique and valuable. The house has been built in the eyes of the organizers of the Biennial of Chicago in just three weeks.
Another element that breaks the mold in the Popular Housing is space itself. The 63.35 m2 house (country version) exceed by 47% the minimum authorized in Mexico (43 m2 as already mentioned) and that, as a matter of costs, is the usual in social housing surface. This larger, along with high thermal and sound insulation of W Building System Panel, improves comfort, confidence, and with it the feeling of a real home for occupancy.
The result of these Popular Housing, has already been tested in twenty works in the states of Chiapas and Coahuila, buildings are lightweight, comfortable look and a much higher than usual in this type of housing quality. A worthy home for the needy. But also, from the ceiling to the floor, a manifesto against poverty.
We present here a sample of the construction process: