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Macehualli Work Center and Housing

Jun 4th, 2008

Designed for the Tonatierra Community Development Organization, this mixed-use project combines social services and affordable housing on a former city-owned parcel located in the Palomino neighborhood of north Phoenix.

The Macehualli Work Center includes job training, social services, and leasable office space in conjunction with a café and covered outdoor waiting area in a two-story, south-facing structure. A shaded arcade connects two buildings and provides external circulation.

Designed as a sustainable building, it is constructed of aerated concrete blocks (Navajo Flexcrete) and a structurally insulated panel roof. Natural lighting is provided by north-facing clerestory windows. Electrical power is supplemented by a photovoltaic array, maximizing the benefits of proper solar orientation. The project also includes a ceremonial area designed for traditional indigenous ceremonies.

Adjacent to the Work Center is a residential complex for first-time homebuyers. The Center has worked on several residential design concepts for this site. The housing complex was developed by Chicanos por la Causa. The design scheme included 20 two-story townhomes built with structural insulated panels. The townhome lots include two-car garages and private front and back yards.