Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Alika Residential in Veracruz, Mexico by JRA Arquitectos
February 25th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: JRA Arquitectos
Alika Residential is a new housing development located in northern Veracruz, which emerges as an exemplar complex, concerned about the welfare of the local community and the new ways of building urban developments, implementing modern technologies. Alika aims to provide the highest quality of life in the northern district, breaking the paradigm that currently exists on developments in this area; providing it with a neighborly living environment focused on the well-being of families today.
The development has all the electrical and telecommunications infrastructure completely underground. The roads are made of hydraulic concrete which allows us to have greater durability, better appearance and cleanliness, and eventually fewer repairs. The road design seeks to have fluid rush hour traffic, concentrating public transport only to certain main corridors, while giving priority to pedestrians and the use of alternative means of transport, such as bicycle.
A gap in the social housing market was detected, there was no developer who cared about offering a quality product in this property type, so the great challenge of this project was to offer a product that exceeded the quality expectations, which remains in force, avoids obsolescence and innovates in design while implementing new technologies and an efficient construction system.
The dwellings feature an innovative design, where form is defined by function, making the most of small spaces and implementing all the design guidelines that we, as an architectural firm, consider important, emphasizing the promotion of sustainable development to contribute to the transformation of communities.
Alika’s duplex prototype sits on a 9×16 meters lot. Each 72.82 square meter house changes the design standards in the social housing typology with its innovative design facade and the implementation of high quality materials such as exposed concrete and ceramic wood which are usually seen in high-cost housing. We opted for a metal formwork system that casts a 100% of the house walls, slabs, stairs, railings, etc. allowing monolithic casts of 2 duplex modules per day with a small group of operators. With this system, a faster execution and assembly process is achieved, as well as better use of materials and labor.
We believe in the importance of caring about the aesthetics and functionality of the dwellings and the social housing developments. They should be treated under the same standards as any residential or high-cost housing project because everyone deserves a decent home, regardless of social class or their purchasing power.
This project confirmed that it isn’t more expensive, or more difficult, definitely not impossible, to provide a quality product with an innovative and attractive design. We learned to rely on our experience and that the effort and attention to small details are worth it, because these are the ones that are reflected in the final product.
JRA Architects set out to keep the low costs of construction and operation, while offering a better product, optimizing the construction system and the use of materials. We have got a very positive response to the duplex prototype, both economically and socially, it has been widely accepted among the people and it has reflected in sales, so Alika Residential is a success story to base our firm’s future proposals for new developments.
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