Info: The building is located in the Colonia Roma, a historic neighborhood in the central sector of Mexico City. La Roma developed in the 19th century as one of the first extensions of the city center, with an orthogonal grid of large houses inhabited by the upper classes of the city. With the emergence of suburban life in the 50s, la Roma decreased its population throughout the second half of the 20th century, getting to its worst with earthquake of 1985. Due to the location of la Roma in what once was Lake Texcoco, the subsoil is highly muddy, so seismic waves are amplified; thus, during the strong earthquake of 85, la Roma was one of the more affected areas of the city: many buildings collapsed, and many of those which resisted were abandoned by its inhabitants because of their structural damage or because of the fear that the buildings would not resist another earthquake. The neighborhood became deeply deteriorated, with high levels of insecurity and abandoned buildings, until its recent re-emergence as one of the most active areas of the city, filled with art galleries, small restaurants, cafes and young people occupying again its streets and public areas.
The project builds on the initiative of the Urban Recycling start-up; the initiative is challenging: build housing on a listed building of historical value, without any parking area –in a city where the car is the king-, and incorporating commercial area in the main floor, in a culture where such condition is typically associated to the reality of the lower social classes, and not understood as an indispensable element for building urban quality.
ReUrbano identifies an old house of historical value that was abandoned after the death of its eighty year old occupant and engages us to transform it into a housing building. The project will have 9 apartments of various sizes and configurations, as well as commercial area in the upfront facade. The project forces us to confront the value of architectural form within the urban grid, as well as that of heritage and ways to intervene it. We seek for a discrete project, and we are overseeing to respect the spatial structure (and the essence) of the existing house.