Text description provided by the architects. The Infonavit, through the "Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo Sostenible" (CIDS), with the aim of researching and experimenting with new social housing prototypes (especially aimed at rural self-production housing) developed the "Laboratorio de Investigación y Experimentación Práctica de Vivienda Infonavit" in Apan, Hidalgo. Our Prototype was designed for a dry temperate climate, characteristic of the state of Oaxaca.
We plan how to build a movable hábitat free of the market restrictions, as we believe that is a real social change for dwellings. What if the materials which make a house could be rented free of ownership and so could be purchased, exchanged or returned at any time instead of being a physical and economical burden for life? For that, we based our proposal on a scaffolding system for the structure of the house and its enclosure. Scaffolding is the most common cost-effective element in construction, allowing it to grow modularly in all directions, even in height, adjusting to the needs of the housing program. A dwelling that could grow but also shrink. Any change in the layout of spaces could easily be made by contacting an existing space or generating a new expansion and configuration.
The basic structure combines four modules of 3 by 3 meters. The floor, the roof and the facades themselves are built with prefabricated scaffolding platforms. For the generation of enclosed spaces, the scaffolding structure was taken as the framework, adding on it different light membranes of translucent polycarbonate cellular panels that provide protection and insulation. On the other side, the practicable elements, doors, and windows, remain opaque, made of plywood panels. As outer skin, an additional layer of corrugated polycarbonate was added to conduct the rainwater. When illumination is on at night, shadows and lights reflect on the skin of scaffolding platforms and so the prototype becomes a lantern for the entire housing laboratory.