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Which Are The Most Used Materials in Social Housing?

Choice of building materials and the inherent continuous reflection about the reach and capabilities of architecture are an interesting alternative way to approach this issue. The materials used in social housing should address local and economic possibilities and the real needs for access to housing in the contemporary context.

In this article, we analyze different projects published on our site to identify some of the predominant materials used in social housing, both for the formation of structures or enclosures. The intentions of this are two-fold: firstly, to create a worldwide panorama of different case studies with different construction styles from a range of geographical locations, and secondly, to provide inspiration and tools to architects to make better social housing.

Below we present 15 social housing projects and their diverse materials and construction styles.

Providencia Chapel / S-AR

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal
© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 27

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 0.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2019

CV House / S-AR + Carlos Valdez

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 49

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: Carlos Valdez, S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 3207.65 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2019

Socially-Organized Housing: Design That Establishes Emotional Ownership

Developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy, and Ernesto Philibert-Petit, this series of articles offers here a set of evidence-based optimal practices for social housing, applicable in general situations. Varying examples are discussed in a Latin American context. Adaptive solutions work towards long-term sustainability and help to attach residents to their built environment.

They propose, then, new insights in complexity science, and in particular the work of Christopher Alexander on how to successfully evolve urban form. By applying the conceptual tools of “Pattern Languages” and “Generative Codes”, these principles support previous solutions derived by others, which were never taken forward in a viable form. 

Ermita Guadalupe / S-AR + Comunidad Vivex

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 32

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: Comunidad Vivex, S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 0.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

Catamaramometric Camera / S-AR

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 16

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 120.7 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

16 Mexican Projects That Use Wood in Wondrous Ways

BRUMA Winery / TAC Taller de Arquitectura Contextual. Image © Miguel Ángel Mayoral Rodríguez Casa Media Perra / Santos Bolívar. Image © Humberto Romero Treehouse Suite / Deture Culsign, Architecture+Interiors. Image © The Cubic Studio Departamentos Artia / AS Arquitectura + CO-LAB Design Office. Image © Onnis Luque + 19

Wood has been an indispensable material in the history of civilization. Different regions from around the world have used it for specific climatic conditions. Mexico, as we have mentioned on several occasions, is an extensive country where different climates, resources and ways of life fit. Therefore the application of wood in architecture has been developed in a number of ways, from its structural use to produce roofs for Mayan huts to projects that seek to revive vernacular architecture.

While the handling of this material is difficult due to its specific detail management, it presents a multitude of benefits from its aesthetic appeal, air circulation, and even smell. Take a look at 16 Mexican projects that use wood in wondrous ways. 

Split-Level Homes: 50 Floor Plan Examples

Faced with the challenge of designing homes on terrains with steep slopes - or in compact urban contexts that do not allow much variation in plan - several architects have experimented and proposed split-level homes to enhance the use of space, allowing, among other things, interesting visual perspectives.

These variations can be seen in numerous examples published on our site. Below, we have selected 50 examples that can help you in your next project. 

12 Women in Architecture Photography (Part 2)

Is there an aspect, a recurring mark, that reveals a difference in the way that male and female architecture photographers see the world? This is, perhaps, one of those rhetorical questions often used as an argument to shed light on works produced by women and for which there is no precise answer.

Without claiming to offer an answer to this question—and in order to follow up on our first article that showcased a selection of women in architecture photography—we present here a new compilation of professionals who deserve attention for the quality of their photographic work. See our list below:

10 Innovative Ways to Use Concrete: The Best Photos of the Week

© Song Yousub
© Song Yousub

Of all construction materials, concrete is perhaps the one that allows the greatest diversity of finishes and textures. The mixture of its ingredients, the shape and texture of the formwork, and the pigmentation of the materials all offer the opportunity to achieve an interesting design. This week we've prepared a selection of 10 inspiring images of innovative concrete, taken by renowned photographers such as Gonzalo Viramonte, Song Yousub, and Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal.

© David Schreyer Cortesía de Moon Hoon © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Giorgio Marafioti + 12

1200 Pieces Chapel / S-AR

1200 Pieces Chapel / S-AR 1200 Pieces Chapel / S-AR 1200 Pieces Chapel / S-AR 1200 Pieces Chapel / S-AR + 30

  • Architects: S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 4.25
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

9X20 House / S-AR

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 27

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 227.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

2G House / S-AR

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 18

San Pedro, Mexico
  • Architects: S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 350.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2011

S-AR Workshop / S-AR

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 28

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: S-AR
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 100.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2011

Docet Institute / stación-ARquitectura Arquitectos

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal + 32

Monterrey, Mexico
  • Architects: stación-ARquitectura Arquitectos
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2010