Tijuana has always been considered a city without definitions, a hybrid laboratory; it is neither defined as Mexican, nor American. The recent real estate boom fueled by high costs of living and high real estate prices in neighboring San Diego, has attracted developers from Mexico and abroad. However, most new projects are buildings that enclose themselves into vertical suburbs, effectively segregating and polarizing the social and urban fabric while eroding the rich street life the city has to offer. Security is another important parameter that has always had an impact in the morphology of residential housing, not only in Tijuana, but throughout Mexico. It is understandable that the first knee jerk reaction to this is to propose projects that shield users from potential negative aspects. As a result, self-contained lifestyle compounds are dotting the city and providing relative safety and effectively withering street life. The rest of the city is a low density horizontal sprawl. These phenomena are creating a segregated and polarized metropolis prone to have islands of a “better life” and a vast sprawl for the rest of the population. What strategies may be carried out in the design of buildings that offer security while engaging-not separating from the rest of the metropolis? We inform our proposal with traits of the vecindad typology; a mid-density building model; successful in creating a strong social fabric and narratives to the point in which often inhabitants grew so close together as to become extended family members and this afforded security, yet connected users to the street and city. Our project will not offer in its program the so called amenities- we propose that those amenities should be lived outside- in the city.
Program: 8 unit building, 5 levels of living, 1 level parking, 1 underground for storage