BNKR Arquitectura designed a proposal for a 41 room student housing complex in a residential neighborhood in Cholula for the University of the Americas, which is currently growing and being absorbed into the urban area of Puebla, Mexico. The program is characterized as a dense agglomeration of cells with busy common areas that absorb student social life. More images and architects’ description after the break.
San Andrés Cholula is a peaceful, low-density residential zone located beside the traditional heart of San Pedro de Cholula. The University of the Americas, which acts as an urban attractor in Puebla, receives 8000 students yearly who are constantly searching for viable accommodation. Cholula is increasingly seeing developments that cater to this growing student population.
The design is complemented by a series of spaces and programs that assist the primary program. How to insert a dense residential student complex within a traditional suburban neighborhood without adversely affecting the peaceful character of the site? The main issue driving this design was therefore the need for an inward looking building that would not interfere with the local neighborhood yet would allow for a lively social scene at its heart.
The resulting scheme features a central patio surrounded by a linear three-level, four sided ring of housing that opens up onto it. Each housing cell in this ring includes all the amenities necessary for a compact residence: accommodations for sleeping, studying, and a basic kitchen and bathroom. The ground floor includes commercial rentable area, a cafeteria, and a private lounge. From the outside this mass appears closed and private, clad in a single, uninterrupted skin of perforated sleet plate
However, this private block lifts up one of its corners to allow direct access to the patio at ground level. The entire building must be understood as a cloister, with its focus on privacy and interior life, but is also opened up by this gesture, creating a building that is at once closed but welcoming; private but lively. Architects: BNKR Arquitectura Location: Cholula, Puebla, México Design: BNKR Arquitectura / Esteban Suarez & Sebastian Suarez Project Leader: Emelio Barjau & Angel Rivero Project Team: Angel Rivero, Adrian Aguilar, Laura Fontaine, Diego Eumir, Paul Chavez, Mitl Gaxiol, Jaime Sol Structural Design: DAE Lighting: Noriegga Iluminadores MEP: DCP Area: 6,150m2 Start of Construction: Autumn 2012 Expected Completion: Winter 2013