LocationLeón, Guanajuato, Mexico
Project CreditsMinche Mena, Michael Smith, Ruben Vazquez, Jose Zermeno
Developed BySHINE Architecture
PhotographsCourtesy of shine architecture
From the architect. This refurbishment intends to offer a new quality-based, morphological-exploration for a social entrepreneurship incubator in a low-income area in León, Guanajuato, México.
The initiative of these social interventions is lead by two main institutions: Tecnológico de Monterrey (one of the best private universities in México) and Bancomer (one of the main banks of the country). This projects has two aims: the first is to provide low income people with the best quality of higher education, thus, the same received by the students in university classrooms, just in a virtual way. The second is helping people to develop their own business, supported by experts.
Having as canvas a prototypical house of the area, but being an innovative project for the community, the refurbishment intended to make a statement through an evident translation of the spatial concept to design: an envelope able to break the typological sequence of the area, still being inviting rather than aggressive; creating an expressive main façade within an open public space.
As one of the core principles of the studio, sustainability is approached in this project through solar control strategies and passive ventilation. For instance, the wooden lattices angle in the south-east façade provides passive solar heating in winter (solar radiation penetration), and direct solar radiation protection in summer.
To achieve a complex responsive morphology, several parametric tests where run in grasshopper, allowing the evaluation of the skin´s performance and select the best relationship between functioning and aesthetics.
As most studio projects, materials are an honest expression of its nature. Wood is from local source with a basic treatment to be exposed outdoors. Many structural elements where recycled from a roof placed in the old garage area.
The project proves how low budget implementations can offer spatial quality with innovation.