What can be done to help those underprivileged groups who cannot afford a home? Mexican female architect, Tatiana Bilbao, gives her answer with a presentation of her latest building prototype at the recent Chicago Architecture Biennial.
The house, about half the cost of a same-sized regular property, consists of a five-meter-high living and dining area, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms. The home has a concrete block core and wooden pallet modules in the surrounding rooms, which allows flexibility to add up to five additional bedrooms. Such a design makes it quick and easy to adapt the house for different layouts to fit into a specific lot. At its smallest, the house takes up an area of 463 square feet, which meets the minimum federal requirement.
The flexible, expandable house was commissioned by the Mexican government to address the country’s social housing shortage for people with low incomes, which has been a worsening yet neglected problem. There has been a housing shortage of as many as nine million homes in Mexico, but few architects have taken the initiative to address the urgent crisis, Bilbao told Dezeen in an interview.
“When we were commissioned to design this model, the first thing in my mind was that I wanted to give more space for the same money,” Bilbao said to Dezeen. Part of the modular system is done with an industrial palette, rather than some expensive strong materials, to save the budget and cut down the price for the customers, she explained.
Bilbao expected to have as many as 3,000 of these homes built per year, to meet the strong need of social housing in Mexico.