Sonata Housing Complex by Arkham Projects

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Sonata

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Housing Complex

INSPIRATION:
Sonata is a quest for intimacy through design. In a city with multiple housing complexes, we had to create something unique, but at a similar selling price. With a main facade facing south, we knew we needed protection from the sun, however, a skin or lattice was not an option because of the cost; it would be necessary to find it within the architectural program, and at the same time, turn this resource into a fundamental element, so the project could not work without it; the stairs where the answer!

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Sonata, as in music, is a compositional procedure that uses two contrasting themes, complexity in its unit and simplicity in its repetition. Looking for uniqueness through design, a project that initially revolved around cost, ended up revolving around intimacy, harmony and curiosity. With the same program and price as many, but a sincere project, where the function and aesthetics are one, where complexity and simplicity blend to become Sonata.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
We created spaces where the users could interact on a daily basis, where we could create a micro community. On the parking space, the rooftops or the open stairs, people can easily exchange a few words, or at least say hello; the stairs offer privacy and intimacy from the outside-in, but at the same time, it allows the people living there to feel part of an urban tribe, the Sonata tribe.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The design started in November 2017 and the construction ended in December 2018. It is located in Gonzalo Guerrero, a northern neighborhood in the city of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The project was initially designed to be sold, but after the construction the client decided to keep the units and put them for rent.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Sonata was built under a traditional mexican construction method; cement block walls, joists and vaults. The main materials are concrete and steel, but the main color is white. The white color works as an integrator, letting the sun be protagonist while painting the facade with light, turning the project into a canvas where the shadows of the stairs and the trees can be seen in different forms throughout the day.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Built on a 540sqm plot, Sonata consists of 4 units of 134sqm each, with social areas on the ground floor and on the roof top, vertically containing two bedrooms on the first level. Stairs not only play an important role in terms of privacy from the outside, but also prevent visitors' circulation through private areas when accessing the roof. Each unit has a backyard and two parking spots, protected by two existing trees and three new ones.

TAGS:
white, volumes, concrete, stairs, shadow, sun, sonata, merida, yucatan, mexico

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
The research was mostly an inside job, we had to find a way to offer something different in a city with dozens of housing complexes, but at the same price. We believe it could be a wake-up call for new generations of architects to explore more creative ideas where everything has a reason to exist and not so much into expensive unnecessary materials that could or could not be essential for the projects.

CHALLENGE:
The main challenge was during the conceptual design. Having had designed multiple housing complexes, the stairs started at the center of each unit, just like others. Knowing we had to protect the units from the sun at low-cost, meaning we had to have a lattice, and then deciding to take out the stairs was a tedious process, but at the end, it felt like the most obvious thing to do. The stairs became function and aesthetics in one.

ADDED DATE:
2019-03-29 22:47:07

TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Min Peniche Calafell and Jorge Duarte Torre

IMAGE CREDITS:
Photographer Tamara Uribe

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
Copyrights belong to Arkham Projects, 2018.

Visit the following page to learn more: http://bit.ly/2U8URun
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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Arkham Projects

PROFILE:
Arkham Projects is a platform for creating dreams through architecture. Each project is a dream; a house for a family, a building for a developer, an office for an entrepreneur or a restaurant for a chef. Our vision revolves around this philosophy. We are a tool to fulfill dreams and turn them into reality. We aspire to a world in which architects join this approach and develop more than functional and aesthetic projects, projects that build a world with happier and fuller people. We have a passionate and committed team, led by Min Peniche, in the creative direction, and by Jorge Duarte, in the business direction. We are more than twenty professionals from different disciplines who unite our talents to fulfill this purpose. Since 2013, we have created architectural/executive projects of different scales and typologies, supporting our clients with the coordination of engineering and permits, as well as supervision during the construction. With more than 300,000sqm designed, we have had the honor of receiving more than two dozen national and international awards for our projects.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Sonata Housing Complex by Arkham Projects is a Nominee in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Sonata Housing Complex by Arkham Projects is Winner in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category, 2018 - 2019.

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