Rosenda and family outside their new home. Photo: Pedro Pacheco/Diez Casas Diez Familias
|School of Architecture at Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores
|10 single family residences (to date)
|Guadalupe, Nuevo León, Mexico
|Pedro Pacheco, architecture students
|10×10 team, ATEMPO Diseno y Construccion
|Private companies in Monterrey and the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores, Monterry Campus
|180 000 Mexican pesos/$14 660 USD
|60 sq m/645 sq ft
Similar to the reuse mantra of 2012Architecten, Pedro Pacheco enlisted his students at the School of Architecture at Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico, to create designs with found materials. In 1999, Pacheco and Edmundo Palacios founded Diez Casas para Diez Familias, also known as 10×10. Through the university program, students build homes for low-income families in various local areas, helping to improve living conditions by creating homes made with found materials.
“Our architecture department was not doing significant work related to the discipline and I wanted to change that and put into practice what students were learning and really have a social impact,” Pacheco explains. Each year, one neighborhood is chosen and students from the university work with 10 families to create 10 designs for a new home. In the end, a single home is chosen for construction. Since the program’s inception, 10 homes have been built and 200 designed.
Rosenda’s House, the project completed in 2010, is located in the Nuevo Almaguer neighborhood of Guadalupe, Nuevo León, Mexico, an informal settlement of cramped roofed homes. Maria Rosenda Flores, a maintenance worker for at the university, was living with her two daughters and three grandchildren in a 250-square-foot (23-sq-m) room before she was selected to receive a house from 10×10.
The students and family were pushed to be innovative and use found materials to build the ultra-modern home. “I estimate that about 40 percent of the materials were recovered reused materials,” says Pacheco. “Our goal is to use the recovered materials as is and avoid additional investment in the transformation of the materials into construction materials.”
Most of the reused materials were gathered by scrounging around the university. The students found fiberglass panels, originally used as concrete molds for a university construction project. “We saw the potential and we could create walls and floors from the fiberglass molds,” architecture student Ernesto Adrian Marroquín Gonzalez recalls. The students also collected discarded wooden planter boxes that were used for the interior stairs and outside deck of the house. “The glass we used for the windows is the most interesting story,” Gonzalez says. The house is kept cooler reusing the vending machine glass than it would have been with new windows.
Students and family members participated in the design and execution of the house. “By the end of construction, Rosenda Flores and her daughters knew everything that was going on in the house,” Gonzalez says. “If they have any problems with the plumbing or the light fixture, Adriana [Rosenda’s 29-year-old daughter] will be able to fix the problem. In my opinion that is a sustainable design—it is not just incorporating reused things, but helping the user own their home.”
In addition to the reused materials the 60-square-meter (645-sq-ft) home collects rainwater, uses grey water, and has a passive cooling system. Whereas the previous home was cramped for the family of six, the new home offers adequate space. “My life has changed tremendously. We now have space to live,” Rosenda says.
top left: Rosenda’s House before the remodel. Photo: Abigail Guzman/Diez Casa Diez Familias.
top right: Rocks and recycled concrete used for the foundation. Photo: Pedro Pacheco/Diez Casas Diez Familias
bottom left: The house is modular and if needed can be disassembled and moved to a new location. Photo: Pedro Pacheco/Diez Casas Diez Familias
bottom right: The design team used new steel beams to ensure structural integrity. Photo: Pedro Pacheco/Diez Casas Diez Familias
“The windows are actually from vending machines. The vending machine glass is triple-pane, which is really good for insulation.”
Ernesto Adrian Marroquín Gonzalem, student