Studio: Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura + Alin V. Wallach
Project: Common Unit
Location: Delegación Azcapotzalco, Mexico City
Project Category: Moving
Photo credits: Sandra Pereznieto and Jaime Navarro
It is a public space rehabilitation project for a social housing unit. The unit used to be divided in sectors by walls, fences and barriers built by its inhabitants over time, which did not allow the community to benefit from available public spaces. The goal was to transform a “divided apartment unit” into a “neighborhood COMMON-UNIT” by designing with the community and not just for the community through the implementation of several actions. The project’s strategy was to work with the barriers created by its inhabitants: to permeate them, to democratize them and to grant them new meaning in order to create UNITY within the unit.
Roofed modules were installed and equipped for different activities which is far better than covering with tarps. The strategy turned out to be efficient: people got together to contribute to redesign their unit and the change in public perception achieved was such that the neighbors themselves requested the fences be removed. The space spoke for itself and the unit’s inhabitants decided to eliminate all barriers and to profit from exterior spaces thus filling them with public and common life.