Divide a house and share it.
In the middle of Nonoalco Mixcoac—a traditional neighborhood that is central, well connected, and has been exploited by the recent development of infinite apartments— a house with a central courtyard can be found at a street corner.
This project seeks to divide a house in two that was originally designed as a single family residence. Making use of its advantageous street corner position, each house claims one of the façades through which they each share a bond with the neighborhood. From the street view, all we did was add a door. The importance of this project lies in the interior.
The most important premise of the project is that every constructed part must represent a resource. Thus, everything has a purpose.
By drawing a diagonal line that passes through the central courtyard, the original living space is parted into two sections, each of similar dimensions. At the same time, having been disconnected from all its junctures, the living space defines its own geometry and activates the patios in the entryways and rooms. From every bedroom, a connection is made to the outside.
In the first of the two houses, what formerly consisted of the bedrooms, bathrooms and service rooms is converted into an uninterrupted space that, by removing the dividing walls, is redefined and connected throughout. This house is for a sculptor who inhabits the remaining structure. The emptiness of the house is continually filled with created objects. It is a space that habitually lives inwardly, focusing on the stone carving studio. This unit faces opposite the central courtyard and makes the most of the sunlight that only the courtyard provides. As if it were a sculpture itself, the house is built by removing what remains of the original home.
The second house is located in what was formerly the common area and occupies the remaining space between the central courtyard and entryway patio. Using this to its advantage, the ground floor becomes a simple pavilion with the sole purpose of connecting the kitchen, in a most natural manner, to the rest of the house. Built upon the existing second-story floor is a space comprising the bedroom, walk-in closet and main bathroom with a terrace that is granted privacy by the lattice brick wall, which dialogues with the same material on the ground level patios. This is a house for a musician. Here, unlike the first, instead of removing walls, they are built.
The experience of constructing two houses from one becomes a model exercise for reconstruction in our city. In order to grow within the city, we must consider our history, our neighborhoods, and our existing resources, permitting the original residents to stay in their neighborhoods and averting the voracious growth of recent development that displaces homeowners and constructs to capacity, compromising the services, sunlit areas, and quality of interior spaces.
The act of dividing a house and then sharing it becomes a resource in itself that allows the city to evolve and continue to grow upon what has already been built.