• Mexico City: Twelve Housing Archaeologies at a Crossroads
    Tatiana Bilbao Estudio
    Sexto Piso, 2019
    Tatiana Bilbao Estudio:
    Tatiana Bilbao,
    Alba Cortés,
    Juan Pablo Ponce de León &
    Gabriela Álvarez

Housing in Miravalle, Mexico, 2016. Photo: Anna Der.

Mexico has been experiencing a severe housing crisis, exacerbated since the turn of the century: structural inequality, high vacancy rates, and a housing shortage afflict the nation. The architectural profession has not been impactful enough: 98% of new housing stock is auto-constructed, often producing structurally unsound buildings. Meanwhile, diverging trajectories continue to develop between patterns of growth in urban peripheries, and professionals’ deployment of their design and constructions expertise. This disparity reflects the shortcomings of Mexican housing policy in connecting different resources and forms of knowledge, further emphasizing the need to critically examine these landscapes. The development of the book, leading to its eventual publication, will identify and analyze housing approaches across several historical periods and socio-economic classes in the Valley of Mexico. The documentation and presentation of attempted strategies is essential to initiate constructive dialogues to better inform development at all levels in Mexico.

Tatiana Bilbao, born and raised in Mexico City, graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in 1996. In 2004, she founded her titular office, initiating projects in China, Europe, and Mexico. In 2007, Architectural Record awarded Bilbao the Design Vanguard Award as one of the "Top 10 Emerging Firms" of the year. In 2014, she received the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture from the LOCUS Foundation, Cite de L'Architecture of Paris, and the patronage of UNESCO. Bilbao has lectured all over the world and teaches at the Columbia School of Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation as well Yale University's School of Architecture (2018). Bilbao believes in architecture as a means to enhance the quality of life. Working with the environment, its surrounding materials, and local craftsmanship, she strives to establish communication and exchange between all groups of society.

Gabriela Álvarez graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s architecture school in 2008; in 2013, she received her master’s degree in art history from the same university. Collaborating with Tatiana Bilbao Estudio since 2014, she is currently the office’s press manager, in charge of communication, exhibitions, and publications, and also works with the design and research teams. She has overseen projects including: 2015 and 2017 Chicago Biennial entries by the studio and the recent Perspectivas retrospectives in Monterrey and Puebla.

Alba Cortés graduated from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's architecture school. She has collaborated with Tatiana Bilbao Estudio since 2013 where she has developed different research projects on social housing, including the social housing prototype presented at the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Juan Pablo Ponce de Leon graduated from Yale University with distinction in 2016. He has since collaborated with Tatiana Bilbao Studio in exhibition, investigation, and publication projects, including the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial project and the recent Perspectivas retrospective exhibition.