Las Americas is a prototype for the development of vertical dwellings in the city of Leon, Mexico. The housing project aims to offset the city’s unchecked sprawl, serving as a catalyst for urban regeneration and improved quality of life in low-income communities. Traditional notions of homeownership currently lock developments into becoming acres of identical free-standing homes in remote areas far from the economic center.
Extensive municipal utilities expansion and expensive transportation programs have led to a decline in the region’s economy, and a loss of critical density within Leon. We worked with Imuvi Development and the City of Leon to rethink housing models in the city and develop a structure that would be both cost-effective and encourage tenants to experience vertical dwellings as appealing as their freestanding single-family counterparts.
Our project creates 60 condo units as a vertical housing block at the city’s center. The design maximizes the plot’s buildable footprint and generates two interior courtyards that provide cross ventilation to each unit, with parking and a commercial base. Resonant of the traditional home’s sense of privacy, no two units face one another.
Units are arranged in a single-loaded corridor to face the courtyard and provide views out to the neighborhood, promoting the sense of private homeownership. A facade assembled of uniquely developed concrete blocks enhance privacy and shading, generate a unique interior atmosphere, and lend character to the building exterior. The project is designed with shared utility cores and prefabricated components to accommodate an extremely limited budget. Source by SO-IL.
- Location: Leon, Mexico
- Architect: SO-IL
- Design Team: Florian Idenburg, Ilias Papageorgiou, Isabel Sarasa, Seunghyun Kang, Sophie Nichols, Pam Anantrungroj
- Executive architect: IMUVI León
- Structural engineer: ICNUM
- Facilities: CIE
- General Contractor: COSEBA
- Client: Imuvi Development City of Leon
- Project area: 3000 m2
- Completion: 2021
- Photographs: Iwan Baan, Courtesy of SO-IL