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Bamboo constructions in Tepetzintán, Puebla, by Comunal

Comunal’s work in Tepetzintán, Puebla, started with restoring the tradition of bamboo construction, which had been forgotten as a building technique.

This case study is part of a longer piece on social housing solutions in Mexico by Juan Carlos Cano. You can read the original piece here

What is amazing in the work realised by Mariana Ordóñez Grajales and Jesica Amescua Carrera of Comunal is the patience and rigour with which they carry out their participative processes with communities. They understand that architectural objects are not important, that architects are just advisers in these tasks, and that decision making in the rural world is very slow. Using bamboo, stone and brick, they built a house they wanted to replicate as social regional housing. This was not authorised because of a regulation that bans the use of traditional materials in house structures when requesting government funds. They then built a second prototype without using bamboo as a structural element but keeping the essence of local dwellings. This time they were successful. Their work with the community has continued with the design of the Rural Productive School that is now in its second phase of construction.

Post earthquake housing mexico architectural review drawings 003

Post earthquake housing mexico architectural review drawings 003

Click to download

Photography by Onnis Luque

This case study is featured in the AR July/August issue on AR House + Social housing – click here to purchase your copy today