• Flexible design in palette of courtyard building types that can accommodate multiple units within the same form.

  • Size

    17 ac

  • Housing

    183 units

  • Community Gathering Spaces

    Hotel, Artist Collective, Chapel and Maker Spaces

Missing Middle Housing Master Plans/Specific Plans Small Town/Rural

Community Master Plan & Housing Type Design, San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende, MX

This client came to Opticos because of the thoughtfulness of our design and expertise in housing typologies to create a vision for their family-owned 6.9-hectare site along Santo Domingo Road in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The client wanted the vision to reinforce the unique character that makes San Miguel an international destination. These patterns were identified in an extensive photo documentation process that resulted in a pattern book to inform the design process.

Creating a Plan Rooted in the Regional Patterns and Unique Site Features

The plan built upon previous entitlement with strong attention to reinforcing and working with the topography to define a unique hill town character. The plan includes small blocks, and a network of narrow paseos, some of which accommodate cars and others that are pedestrian only. There is an intimate pedestrian way, with a series of cascading stairs, leading from the plaza at the highest point on the site to the arroyo. Each block contains a mix of courtyard housing types.

The Missing Middle Kit of Parts: Courtyard Housing System

The process defined a series of C-shaped, L-shaped and O-shaped courtyard housing types, rooted in the Mexican Patio Home tradition, that function as individual or multiple units. This flexibility allows these homes to be delivered at attainable and higher end price points. These types are shallow or deep depending on topographic conditions of the individual lots. Each type has an option to integrate a casita along the rear of the lot that can function as a separate unit.