Located in a quiet street in one of the most emblematic neighborhoods in Mexico City (Santa María la Ribera), this project is an intervention that has its roots on the understanding of population dynamics, urban settlements and especially the current situation of Mexico City.
Lirio 7 has an interesting background; as an Art Deco building, originally housed public baths during the 30s, then in the 50s became a sanatorium, and before its abandonment in which the property was found, it was the headquarters of a security company. Considering these conditions, we took advantage from an abandoned building without any recognized heritage value by local authorities, to restore it and offer a specific model of housing that recovers the historical value of Santa Maria la Ribera neighborhood.
The design process is based on the concept of a central patio and its perimeter circulation, which was adapted into a new layout to create 12 apartments where the main corridor becomes part of the home. In this type of buildings, this circulation is a public place and the challenge on making it private leads to define an enclosure that plays with the visuals.
The dwellings are arranged around the patio, orienting their views to it, which is considered as a place of introspection, not so much as circulation. Concrete elements of different heights acts as planters, dampen the sound of the water from the recovered fountain and support the discourse of circulations, interposing themselves in the visuals, again to guide and give privacy to the user.
Each of the houses therefore has ventilation, and natural lighting. The first and second floors with a greater free height, typical of the original construction moment, allows a greater volume of use of the spaces, and the entrance of natural lighting and ventilation.
The third level, from the 50s as well as the new structures implemented on deck, maintain a standard height more like that required by current regulations; which does not diminish their interest, since in the same way, they pour into the patio and drink the same character of openness and centrality.
A perforated concrete prism, protrudes from the façade of the patio creating a visual contrast without stealing its relevance. With a materiality and density different from the rest of the project, this intervention is presented and allows independent access to the last department. This volume from the outside patches the view and generates a light game, in darkness towards the last apartment, the terraces, the enjoyment of them and the views they offer.
So, facing an overloaded and pre-existing urban layout, it is our responsibility to with the needs of the city, from a perspective of using existing resources, adapting them and adapting them to the current needs of habitability and comfort, related to a particular user.