Transforming TIjuana

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photos by:
March 16, 2009

In August of 2004, a weekend-long party took place at a new house in the Hacienda Agua Caliente neighborhood of Tijuana, Mexico. The house was raw and unfinished, with bare concrete floors and exposed nail heads, but the art that adorned the walls and the music that rocked into the wee hours was a culmination of years of pondering the urban state of this exploding city just south of San Diego, California.

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  Paola Gracia keeps an eye on Kata, one of the couple’s schnauzers, from the second- story balcony. In the shade below the balcony is the dogs’ house, meant to mimic the Gracias’, that architect Jorge Gracia built from leftover building materials.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    Paola Gracia keeps an eye on Kata, one of the couple’s schnauzers, from the second- story balcony. In the shade below the balcony is the dogs’ house, meant to mimic the Gracias’, that architect Jorge Gracia built from leftover building materials.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  The two structures that comprise the house frame views of the ever expanding city. The backyard is perfect for frolicking dogs and children, with concrete block walls just high enough to keep them in but low enough to not keep the city out.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    The two structures that comprise the house frame views of the ever expanding city. The backyard is perfect for frolicking dogs and children, with concrete block walls just high enough to keep them in but low enough to not keep the city out.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  Jorge appreciates his efforts at twilight. The polycarbonate panels that partially clad the exterior of the structure provide a warm glow, adding life to Tijuana’s densely packed rolling hillsides  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    Jorge appreciates his efforts at twilight. The polycarbonate panels that partially clad the exterior of the structure provide a warm glow, adding life to Tijuana’s densely packed rolling hillsides

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  From the rear of the Gracia house, the city’s still rough character comes through.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    From the rear of the Gracia house, the city’s still rough character comes through.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  Jorge and Paola proudly displayed their son’s name on their back patio for his christening. With plenty of cousins to keep him company, Max (in Paola’s arms at left) will undoubtedly be pleased that his parents decided to stay put in Tijuana.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    Jorge and Paola proudly displayed their son’s name on their back patio for his christening. With plenty of cousins to keep him company, Max (in Paola’s arms at left) will undoubtedly be pleased that his parents decided to stay put in Tijuana.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  In the living room, mid-century classics are the foundation while art from the house’s “coming out” party by Enrique Ciapara adds some personality.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    In the living room, mid-century classics are the foundation while art from the house’s “coming out” party by Enrique Ciapara adds some personality.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  Jorge finds some time to relax in the living room. Chaise longue by Le Corbusier; coffee table by Noguchi.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    Jorge finds some time to relax in the living room. Chaise longue by Le Corbusier; coffee table by Noguchi.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  In the kitchen, Jorge worked with local cabinet makers, Muebles Finos JV, to create ample storage, leaving countertops uncluttered. The LEM Piston Stools are by Shin and Tomoko Azumi.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    In the kitchen, Jorge worked with local cabinet makers, Muebles Finos JV, to create ample storage, leaving countertops uncluttered. The LEM Piston Stools are by Shin and Tomoko Azumi.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  Jorge’s office is on the basement level which provides easy access to the outside.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    Jorge’s office is on the basement level which provides easy access to the outside.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  The master bathroom has its own open-air patio that faces the street.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    The master bathroom has its own open-air patio that faces the street.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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  Hardwood floors throughout provide continuity from the  living space to the sleeping quarters. The entryway staircase divides the two structures.  Photo by: Gregg Segal
    Hardwood floors throughout provide continuity from the living space to the sleeping quarters. The entryway staircase divides the two structures.

    Photo by: Gregg Segal

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