Mar Mediterraneo 34 Housing Units by Inca Hernandez

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Mar Mediterraneo 34

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Housing Units

INSPIRATION:
The concept was based on the idea that the essence of a ruin never dies, a building is mutable and can take different forms in order to come back to life and generate a new cycle. The building is part of the neighborhood's historical setting and is highlighted as part of the transformation of the urban context that still prevails in it.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Mar Mediterraneo 34 emerges as a strategy to recover the historical and architectural heritage, conceived as the rebirth of a vestige in a new time, which reinterprets the past to the current historical context with the intention of generating a new life for the urban image and protecting the value from the magical neighborhood of Tacuba.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The project will change over time. Materiality evolves and ages together with the people who inhabit it. It will become their home where new experiences and anecdotes will take place and this is an element of its natural beauty. The project will also inspire the cultural and architectural revival of the neighborhood.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
October 2017 - January 2020. Tacuba, Mexico City, Mexico.

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
• An analysis of the urban and historical background was carried out, as well as the degree of deterioration and potentialities. • The non-original elements were eliminated, the authentic artisan elements were respected to give them a new opportunity. • The old wall coverings were removed and the walls were reinforced, the stairs to the second floor needed to be rebuilt as they had collapsed. • The main facade and all its frontal composition were in advanced deterioration. The windows and balconies that had been closed were reopened, also the original handcrafted elements were polished and renovated such as the quarry of the lintels, cornices and mansards. The iron railings were restored, the windows and gates were also renovated allowing a view to the urban space on the street. • In the upper part of the main facade, the glass tiles on the mansard roof were restored, the collapsed dome was also rebuilt applying a new materiality in order to avoid generating a false homogeneity. • The floors were weak in their structure; therefore they were reinforced using metal beams and new plaster. Due to the advanced deterioration of the floor, new mosaics were applied, including wood type ceramics to generate the lost warmth. • The main patio and the back of the building were in ruins, much of the materials were reused and recycled to generate a new contemporary image while maintaining the continuity of the characteristics of the past. The different levels of the new architectural image were structured with concrete embedded beams and reinforced self-supporting walls. • All the electrical, sanitary and water installations were redone for the new functionality to adapt to each of the units. • The interior doors and windows were renewed using glass and aluminum frames, inside of the units adapted wooden doors were used. • The concept of double heights and large windows was maintained with the intention of generating a reinterpretation from the past. Considering spatial dimensions, reinforced mezzanines in metal structure and wooden floors were used to generate comfortable loft type units. • Lighting is warm-light, energy efficient LED.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Mexico City is a historical setting with an enormous cultural and architectural heritage protected in its magical neighborhoods. Tacuba is one of them, located northwest to the downtown, this neighborhood has undergone social and urban transformations that have lasted to this day and where vestiges forged at different times can be found. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Tacuba became one of the wealthiest areas of the city with large country houses, which over time and different political changes were abandoned and many were collapsed. However, among these vestiges the house of Mar Mediterraneo 34 remained. Built in 1910 through an eclectic French style belonging to the Porfiriato era, it currently holds historical value by the National Institute of Fine Arts and the National Institute of Anthropology and History. The project started with the idea of giving a new life to a house designed in two volumes, where the first incorporates the main facade while the second has a view to the main patio, although both were in advanced deterioration and the second volume was in ruins. Based on these characteristics, the restoration and intervention of the original elements of the era are implemented, where the spaces are regenerated with a new materiality, and the multiple artistic and artisanal elements are recovered from the main facade such as the carved quarry from the balconies and lintels, the iron railings, the large windows and the glass roof tiles, intending to rehabilitate the new urban image. The interior is reconstructed as a reinterpretation of the past through a contemporary perspective, where a volume is raised up framing the sky in the existing main patio and portrays the arrangement of the old portals as a sequence of light and shadow, this is how these openings rise intermittently from the ground floor in double height and become a solid element of introspective architecture. The project intends to fusion what prevails and what is reborn through a linear connection between two eras, this connection is also reflected at the entrance by a volcanic stone baseboard which surrounds the entire ground floor and functions as the foundation to lift what has resurfaced. The restored house has 3 levels and 7 apartments that adapt to different flexible spaces (Loft, studio, familiar apartment and penthouse), which interact by views to the historical elements in the main patio and two additional courtyards of lesser proportion with a tree surrounded by a set of lattices that allow the entrance of natural light keeping an autochthonous essence. The goal of the intervention is to generate a legacy that encourages the transformation of Tacuba to enhance and rescue its heritage value, by taking advantage of spaces in a sustainable way to give life to the magical neighborhood.

TAGS:
Restoration, Renovation, Mexico City, Tacuba, Mar Mediterraneo 34, Historic house, Apartments, Housing Units.

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
The process to generate the project was consolidated by an exhaustive historical investigation about its different uses and inhabitants. An analysis of photographic files, manuscripts and anecdotes from neighbors who have witnessed its transformation over time was carried. The design was planned with the intention to protect the artisan details and to avoid creating a false homogeneity in the essence of the building.

CHALLENGE:
The house holds historical value for the two main history institutes in Mexico. The building was in a very advanced deterioration, representing a major security risk for the restorative work. Besides, the inhabitants of the magical neighborhood of Tacuba have nostalgic feelings about the house, being a prominent icon in their memory. We have a huge responsibility as young architects, builders and restorers to protect the historical heritage of our cities for new generations, that is why Mar Mediterraneo 34 can be an example of recovery for the neighborhood and a small piece in regenerating sustainable spaces to prevail in the collective history.

ADDED DATE:
2020-06-21 00:42:09

TEAM MEMBERS (5) :
Architect: Inca Hernandez., Development: Top Project Multiplex / Efrain Hernandez., Interior design: Ana Ximena Garcia, Inca Hernandez, Raiz Mx, Adrian Gonzalez (Mercado de Chacharitas)., Collaborators: Gabriela Llovera Arciniegas, Luis Enrique Vargas. and Structural engineering: Javier Soria.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Joao Morgado - Architecture Photography

Visit the following page to learn more: https://incahernandez.com/#/project/49
CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Inca Hernandez

PROFILE:
Inca Hernandez is a Venezuelan architect living in Mexico since 2015. He worked with world-renowned Architects such as Tadao Ando (Pritzker, 1995) and Alvaro Siza (Pritzker 1992) in different projects in Oaxaca for Casa Wabi's foundation. He has also worked in new real estate developments and restoration projects in Mexico City. He has currently started with his own firm developing research, art direction and architecture projects in Mexico, Venezuela, Italy and Colombia.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Mar Mediterraneo 34 Housing Units by Inca Hernandez is a Nominee in Cultural Heritage and Culture Industry Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Mar Mediterraneo 34 Housing Units by Inca Hernandez is Winner in Cultural Heritage and Culture Industry Design Category, 2020 - 2021.



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