Casa 9X20 takes it’s name from the dimensions of the plot where it is built. Located in an industrial warehouses area, which has been transforming into housing developments over the years, the house is part of a small development with barely a couple of streets and 70 available plots. Most of these plots have the same dimensions, except for those located in corners or defined by the topography of the site.

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Project: Casa 9X20
Architects: S-A
Location: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Architects in charge: Cesar Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Garza.
Contributors: Marisol Gonzalez.
Typology: Single Family House.
Client: AQ Family.
Construction Area: 227 m2.
Project Year: 2015
Construction Year: 2015-2016
Completion Date: 2016
Photography: Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal.
Technical Supervision: S-AR
Construction: Gonzalo Tamez
Materials: Concrete block, semi-prefab concrete slabs, concrete and steel.

Casa 9X20 By S-AR - Sheet2The built context of the area is defined mostly by houses that represent a similar housing concept, with few superficial changes on the facades (as a result of them being built by the same developer), and some others that target a more generic taste, always influenced by commercial architectural tendencies with saleable intentions in mind, which have been spreading all over the city in recent years.

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The plot of the house is one of the last ones to be intervened in this development. The house is for one young family composed by a couple with 3sons.

Casa 9X20 By S-AR - Sheet5The house has now two complete levels and one incomplete level waiting for a future expansion, when the family requires more space.

The ground floor includes the social area and general services. This floor is defined as an open plan space, enclosed by a lateral patio-aisle, a large core of services, a backyard and the garage.

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An aisle of services is delimited from the main area by a large continuous piece of furniture, which organizes the interior space, giving service to both sides: the social area and the services aisle.

Casa 9X20 By S-AR - Sheet7Both the furniture and the core services aisle hide storage and living spaces such as a bathroom and laundry. These spaces are enclosed behind a sequence of doors that form a white surface and solid volumes that create a contrast between this clear plane and the textures and colors of the constructive system used in the slabs and floors of the house.

The second floor includes the private spaces of the house, such as the family living room, the main bedroom and two smaller rooms for the sons.

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The third level is a rooftop terrace that can be occupied in the future as a playroom or a studio.

The built volume is illuminated by the light that filters through the lateral patio  and the backyard that separate the house from the neighbor buildings, as well as by the stairs volume, used as a conductor to bring light from the street into the core of the house. In this way, the interior spaces always receive some kind of indirect natural lighting.

Casa 9X20 By S-AR - Sheet9Contrasting with this, the facade presents a textured surface made with concrete blocks arranged to avoid an overheating of the front walls, providing shade to the facade’s surface at all times. This is used as a simple bioclimatic cooling strategy due to the southern orientation of the house’s front facade, which during most of the day receives direct sun radiation.

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This element is supported on the metallic structure of the house’s garage, a long I-beam that crosses the whole width of the plot.

This arrangement of order and equilibrium between elements (blocks and beam) turns into the distinctive identity of the house among all the neighbors’ forms and materials: concrete and metal.

Casa 9X20 By S-AR - Sheet10Metal, represented in the use of the I-beam, and concrete, used in the front sequence made of blocks: two of the materials and formats most produced by the local industry.

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S-AR is an architectural design studio based in Mexico (Monterrey and Mexico City). The studio is led by Cesar Guerrero and Ana Cecilia Garza (Monterrey main office), and Maria Sevilla (at the secondary office at CDMX). S-ARis formally established as a professional firm in 2006. Their work focuses on the design and development of architectural projects of several scales and typologies from private, experimental and social houses to architectural installations, educational buildings and design of furniture and other objects including books and independent publications about architecture.

S-AR´s work has been awarded the Emerging Voices Award by The Architectural League of New York (New York, U.S.A., 2016), the Design Vanguard Award by Architectural Record for emerging architects (New York, U.S.A., 2013), the 1st. Place in the XXI Cemex Building National Award 2012 (Mexico, 2012) and the 1st. Place in National Competition “Bicentennial Elementary School” (Mexico, 2008). They received the Young   rtists Grant “Jovenes Creadores” CON  CULT – FONCA (Arts and Culture Mexican Council) in the discipline of Architectural Design (Mexico, 2009) and they were part of the exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling at MoMA – Museum of Modern Art (New York, U.S.A., 2007). The studio received an Honorable Mention in the International Competition “Possible Cities” organized by   RP  FIL (Guadalajara, Mexico, 2009) and they were finalist for the Museo Experimental el Eco Pavilion in Mexico City (Mexico, 2014). S-ARhas been nominated for the 2014 Ibero-American Architecture Biennial Award  (Rosario, Argentina, 2014) and for the 2019 Ibero-American Architecture Biennial Award  (Asuncion, Paraguay, 2019), selected -Emerging Designer- in the Present for the Arts in Mexico by La Tempestad Magazine of Arts (Mexico, 2014), selected to represent Mexico in the BAL – Latin-American Biennial of Architecture (Mexico Spain – LATAM, 2015), selected to be part of the Mexico´s Pavilion in the and16 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura di Venezia- 15th and 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale (Mexico – Italy, 2016 / 2018) and selected to participate in the XX Chilean Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (Valparaiso, Chile, 2017) and the BIA-AR – Argentinean Architecture International Biennial (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016).

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S-AR´s work has been part of the exhibitions YALA – Young Architects in Latin America – La nouvelle architecture en Amérique Latine at the arc en rêve centre d´architecture (Bordeaux, France, 2018) and the MARQ – Architecture and Design Museum (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019), Häuser für alle at the IFA – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Stuttgart, Germany, 2019), Diseñando México – Architettura: Necessità e Libertà at the International Architecture Festival Mantovarchitettura – Politecnico di Milano (Mantova, Italy, 2019), among others. Also S-AR´s work has been part of the exhibition series of Monoambiente, Gallery of Design and Architecture (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and of the exhibitions program of LIGA, Space for Architecture, Mexico City (Mexico City).

Some S-AR´s lectures at several forums and universities include the Navarra University (Pamplona, Spain), the ETSAB – UPC (Barcelona, Spain), The Architectural League of New York (New York, U.S.A.), the GSAPP – Columbia University (New York, U.S.A.) the University of Houston (Houston, U.S.A.) and MONTE 153C (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

S-ARhas exposed their work at various universities, forums and exhibitions about architecture and design in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the United States. To dateS-ARhas participated in international publications  of  architecture  in  Mexico,  Chile,  Argentina,  Spain, Portugal,  Italy,  UK,  Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey, Korea, China, Japan, Australia and USA. Also S-AR´s work has been published in numerous specialized websites about design and architecture.

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In paralel, S-ARleads a non-profit organization called Comunidad Vivex, a platform for design, development and implementation of Social Architecture projects ( S-ARselects the invited architectural studios to develop the Architecture content for the AAF Magazine(

César Guerrero + Ana Cecilia Garza

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022