Carolina Ortiz

Carolina Ortiz

Guatemala City, GT

HOF poster
HOF poster

HOF design competition


HOf unit
“Informality is a condition of complex, non linear systems in which patterns
overlap, intersect and mutate in unexpected ways.”
Brillembourg and Klumpner
Improvisation is a way of culture, therefore architecture should be dynamic,
allow change, enable expansion, with no restriction of laws or traditions. The
main goal of the design concept is to offer; instead of a ready-made solution,
simple and general rules, a basic structure that can be completed and developed
by its owners or users. In this way, we assure that their habits are not being
dramatically imposed, and that the system always gives the opportunity for the
community to evolve naturally.
No space can have just one function, only the space of the Gods.
By definition the word slum means room. Making this the design concept the
housing model is derived from a square unit. This unit was conceived in such
way that it can address all the necessities of a house (shelter, cooking, living,
dining, bathroom, storing, etc.), while giving the opportunity to expand as the
family grows and their possibilities evolve. The expanding unit, as a whole, works
as a kit of parts, providing a long - lasting house, where spaces can be
configured to adjust to different heights required for its use, just like a bookshelf!
The building is sustainable in its own way; it contains a water saving tank,
areas for micro garden development, such as terrace, facades, narrow
courtyards, connections to a main sewage system and electricity. The housing
typology absorbs a range of different economic backgrounds, along with
community and local support to people at different stages in terms of their
economic growth.
“If slums look dirty and chaotic, they are also one of the most efficient urban
settlements: people can live close to each other, and possibilities to randomly
meet are maximized. The social organization emerges naturally, and the overall
system uses the available resources in the most efficient way.”
Jane Jacobs
The urban fabric intends to translate an informal and diverse urban network. To
promote land tenure and property rights, three different plot sizes are proposed to
fit different possibilities. The concept of generating ʻmini-blocksʼ creates a sense
of neighbourhood, reinforced with the introduction of community gardens that
connect the entire network with other uses that promote culture and
The community gardens and recycle centre promotes healthy community
development. Community gardens contain training centres to educate neighbours.
The main focus of this centre, is teaching them about harvesting and how to
make it profitable. Harvesting can become a community job, whereby urban
agriculture can create positive contributions as a local supplier of food for cities,
and can provide poor households with fresh, culturally appropriate low - cost food,
be a source of income and an employment opportunity. These centres also can
provide spaces for laboratories, sports and physical activity, social interaction
gatherings, seminars and learning opportunities, etc. Furthermore they may
provide as well a place for livestock and chicken coops.
The purpose of the community gardens is to gather people and to teach them the
sense of working and joining efforts as a whole.
The recycle centreʼs main purpose is to keep a clean environment and activate
economic activities. It contains a septic tank, which purpose is to turn waste into
energy, as well as a water-purifying tank, which purpose is to provide water for
harvesting, plus it also works as a fish-growing pond (aquaculture). The recycle
centre collects all waste produced in the community in order to give it a new use,
or turn it into energy. It also contains a teaching centre, and provides space for
neighbours to sell their products.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: New Delhi, IN