Before and After: A Cramped Home in Mexico Gets a Drastic Makeover on a Tight Budget
Mexico City based Dosa Studio renovated a 40-year-old residence in Texcoco, Mexico, about 25 kilometers northeast of Mexico City. Located on a main road and not built according to regulation, Casa Palmas suffered poor conditions for space, light, ventilation, and privacy. The owner, seeking a more intuitive space for her cousin and family, sought out the architects for a redesign.
Working with a limited budget, Dosa Studio received sponsored materials from three Mexican companies—structural ceramic manufacturer Novaceramic, cement resin makers Mezcla Brava, and construction product maker Probarro—to create a well-ventilated, bright, and private home on the compact, 1,205-square-foot lot.
The resulting two-level dwelling boasts 1,722 square feet. Openings on the sawtooth roof structure evenly illuminate the interiors, projecting ever-shifting shadows on the walls.
The house is flanked by two courtyards that provide privacy by shielding the interiors from its neighbors on both sides.
The first courtyard has a narrow stone garden that connects the street to the main entrance of the house. The service areas are contained within the second courtyard.
"The spatial configuration of the house focuses on the original footprint of the previous house. The main principles of the configuration are the coexistence among users," says Raúl Medina, one of Dosa Studio’s cofounders.
On the ground floor are open-plan living, dining, and kitchen areas. On the upper floor are three bedrooms connected by a corridor, and a protective balcony that also links the rooms visually with the courtyard outdoors.
The architects chose red brick as the main construction material, and did a site analysis to determine the positions for doors, windows, and apertures based on factors like the direction of natural light and thermal comfort.
Medina and his partner Sergio Sousa believe that this house brings new solutions to the social and contemporary architecture in this part of Texcoco, while helping its residents overcome the challenge of noise pollution caused by traffic from the main road.
"This house shows that even on a small budget, architecture can improve life conditions through spatial experiences," says Sousa.