Mexico-based Garduño Arquitectos have designed a 24-unit housing development project: the Monte Elbruz building of 6 floors (local regulation) on a small site located in Polanco, Mexico City. The linear courtyard is introduced in between two linear apartment blocks.
The lot was located in a difficult area, originally classified as high-density and already fully developed, with adjoining buildings 14 to 30 storeys high. Designing a linear façade would have led to 60% of the apartments having an interior view. Taking these variables into account, Garduño Arquitectos opted for designing two side blocks within a 60 cm distance of the borders, thus generating a central courtyard to play the role of green area, access and lighting center, but that would also generate facades proportioned in terms of the project’s scale.
The first eight units are provided with a private garden and the last eight with a roof garden. In addition, all apartments are two-leveled. The street access becomes a stroll past a reflecting pool and gardens, employing 90% of the available space as green area. The project includes a rain water recycling system for irrigation and car washing. The front façade boasts two slim vertical concrete sand-colored beams separated by the volume containing the home. These pieces were cast with a double concrete face and marble grain and were later finished with a marteline, bringing out a tree that begins with the trunk at the level of the first beam and continues the trace in the second one.
One of the main goals of this proposal is to generate the illusion of slimmer volumes, avoid noise and incorporate and proportion the project with its environment in a positive fashion. The inner façade was designed as a city within a city, striving to achieve the residents’ movement and interaction by means of exposed circulations and aluminum panels containing glass frames and tilting vents. At the back of the building a vertical opening in the elevator cube was designed, covering it with an image of the sky that is part of a story in which a group of children invent a flying umbrella.