This Affordable, Millennial Pink Home in Mexico Cost Just $18K to Build

This Affordable, Millennial Pink Home in Mexico Cost Just $18K to Build

By Lucy Wang
Modular, adaptable, and cost-effective, this experimental home provides a model for progressive rural housing in Mexico.

Mexico City–based architecture firm PPAA has designed a 624-square-foot home that costs just $18,000 to build. The modular concrete dwelling has a dusty pink finish, and it employs locally sourced, cost-effective materials to keep within its tight budget.

The top of the home can be used as an elevated terrace. "The roof references the vernacular of rural houses, as does the traditional rainwater drainage system," say the architects.

The home is one of 32 housing proposals—each representing one of Mexico’s 32 states—designed for Laboratorio de Vivienda, a showcase of easily replicable, affordable, and environmentally friendly homes in Apan, Hidalgo. The exhibition was organized by Mexico’s Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers, which selected designs from a call for submissions that attracted top architectural talent from around Mexico and the world at large.

Located on a nine-acre site in Apan, Mexico, PPAA’s modular home is one of 32 low-income housing prototypes that are being studied for potential reproduction on a larger scale. The prototypes were built in 2019, and they are open to the public—along with an adjacent welcome and education center by MOS Architects.

Assigned the town of Zaragoza in the northeastern state of Coahuila, PPAA crafted a site-specific, modular dwelling that responds to the region’s humid climate, as well as its proximity to the U.S. border and the San Antonio River.

The living room and dining area open up to the outdoors through large sliding doors—one of the architects’ favorite features. The furnishings are by Mexican interior design firm DUCOLAB.

Polished concrete flooring is used throughout, while timber surfaces lend a sense of warmth.

"The objective of the project was to build a house in a rural context that met the characteristics of a decent home and satisfied the needs of users," explains the firm. "Its location and proximity to the city of Piedras Negras generates a particular social context due to its connection with the United States. The inhabitants of this locality present a strong aspiration to the American way of life that’s reflected in the local buildings."

"We wanted to give a natural feeling and some color related to the surrounding earth—but we wanted to have a finish that would age well, so we avoided the use of paint on the outside," explain the architects regarding the home’s pink concrete plaster.

The Apan prototype comprises five 9.84' x 9.84' modules. Three are set horizontally, and two are stacked together in the rear. The home is designed so it can be affordably expanded by adding additional modules.

In addition to affordability, adaptability was a guiding design principle for the modular home, which can be easily expanded to meet the needs of a growing family. Each module, which measures 9.84' x 9.84', is built with "very simple construction methods, concrete masonry, and ribbed floor slabs, which is basically what all of the autoconstrucción [self-built structures] in the country are made of," explain the architects.

"The project has a mezzanine height of 10.7 feet with the purpose of dignifying rural housing through the creation of larger spaces," add the architects.

Apan House diagrams

Related Reading:

This Pink Tiny House in Mexico Is a Millennial Dream Come True

This 3D-Printed Village Aims to House 40% of Austin’s Homeless Population

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: PPAA / @perez_palacios_aa

Structural Engineer/Civil Engineer: BVG

Lighting Design/Interior Design: PPAA

Furniture Design: DUCOLAB


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.