A social housing proposal created by the architect Francisco Pardo to improve domestic – and community – life in rural Mexico

Created by Francisco Pardo ArquitectoApan Prototype is part of the program Del Territorio al Habitante, promoted by Infonativ (Housing Institute of Mexico) through CIDS (Investigation Center for Sustainable Development), with the goal of improving the quality of dwellings in the rural contexts of Mexico, based on a process of assisted self-construction.

At Apan, in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, a true experimental laboratory has been organized for the construction of 32 housing prototypes, designed by various architecture firms in an effort to study social housing in specific regions of Mexico.

The prototype designed by Francisco Pardo, in particular, will be developed in the rural zones of the municipality of Panotla, in the state of Tlaxcala.

Apan Prototype is composed of two parts, connected by a set of rules and procedures that regulate their synergic functioning.

Each habitat module is formed by wooden enclosures that border a piece of land of about 50 m2 that is used for farming or raising livestock, and a structure of blocks whose ground floor, with an area of 18 m2, includes a small kitchen corner, a bathroom and a free space that can be transformed into a bedroom. The upper level is a multifunctional space that can also be used for storage.

Apan Prototype adapts to the needs of its inhabitants: the parcel of land expands as the family or the business grows, while the second level of the structure can be converted as a dwelling, extending the area to 36 m2.

The ground floor spaces are organized on perpendicular axes by function, connected to a courtyard for the growing of vegetables. The second level is more versatile, with large windows overlooking the surrounding landscape.

Outside, the house has no main facade: it stands out in the landscape for its archetypal form, raised off the ground.

The circular, modular enclosure encourages integration rather than separation between adjacent constructions, creating green spaces and public areas.

The habits of each family shape the private rooms, while the community itself designs the spaces between the individual units, giving rise to shared areas.

The residential model proposed by Francisco Pardo offers families of modest means who live in small spaces the possibility of personalizing their domestic dimension, making them feel like part of a community and consolidating their ties with the territory.