Sonata (Housing Complex) by Jorge Duarte Torre
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
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!
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.
Design Challenges
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.
Production 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.
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