Setting foot on an eight metre wide, 16 metre long plot in Mexico City, local firm PPAA imagined a residence with two joined, yet independent, households – similar to a townhouse. The plot’s narrowness and the architects’ desire to create a truly unique space meant that they had to stray from the more conventional apartment scheme that had been planned.

So, making use of an advantage of the plot – its east-west orientation – the team built a series of stackable spaces totalling 619 m2, dubbing the residence Pachuca. This spatial programme accommodates the residents’ needs in both form and function: it provided for the development of a contained patio in the back, allows light and ventilation to stream through the houses and ensures, in all spaces, their privacy and independence.

The structure is built from three all-encompassing concrete walls and slabs, the rest of the architectural elements wood. Its façade is all window fixtures, framed with black metal – PPAA’s intention was to blur the boundary between interior and exterior. The patio, adjacent to the dining area in one of the houses, opens up by way of a similar window fixture.

On the street level is the garage and services, while the lower floor is a living, social area, the first a bedroom and studio and the second a main bedroom with terrace. Streamlined wooden shelving, cabinetry and a staircase are defining features in each house, though their individual design differs.

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