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Architecture portfolio Renée Gutiérrez




Santo Domingo Clinic and residence for the elderly


El Coporito Rural school and community center


La Tongolele house


House at the mangrove


Urban regeneration Puerto Escondido Bay


Experience and sensuality Investigation on the perception of architecture


Thesis studio: Cテ。tedra Blanca

Santo Domingo Clinic and residence for the elderly

Location: D.F., Mテゥxico Critics: Jorge Arvizu, Diego Ricalde and Benjamin Romano Partners: Cristina Alessi, Alexis テ」ila and Philippe Pascal Cテ。tedra blanca is a yearly thesis workshop where 12 students out of 100 are elected to develop a project in groups of four people, each with a different focus. My team and I developed a health clinic and elderly residence in the Molino of Santo Domingo, a mill and barn built in the XVI century in Mexico City during the Spanish colony. Our main goal was to provide spaces that promoted a healthy lifestyle among the elderly, by permeating nature into the project and passively managing sun, wind and water to our favor; promoting a sense of community by interrupting spaces with places of social encounter of different scale and program; offering clinic facilities complete with medical offices and a rehabilitation center.

Site Working with a building of historical value, dated back to the XVI c. we encountered challenges that required an understanding of the colonial construction methods, so as to design a project that would not only integrate in a spatial manner, but also in a structural and constructive way.

Concept Separation of old and new structures to lighten visual weight. Division of building into thin blocks, following the rhythm in the faรงade. Permeation of sun, wind and vegetation into the project, so as to have no enclosed public and shared spaces.

Program distribution

Vertical circulation.

Apartments and suites.

Original XVI c. faรงade.

Health clinic, rehabilitation, gymnasium, and common area.

Parking levels.


Section a-a’

View from Periférico avenue


Structural axonometric section

The project above the original barn, is composed of five blocks of apartments that are sustained on singular concrete walls, connected to each other with iron beams, together working as a hollow column. The apartment blocks cantilever on both sides on a beam grid, so as to maintain a structural balance, while also being supported by tension cables The blocks are connected to each other through a series of bridges that bring mobility into the structure.

Red oak rooftop with a steel frame

Steel frame to join structural concrete walls and receive floor

Red oak faรงade

Structural concrete walls

Existing faรงade XVI c.


Individual block structure

Los volumenes de habitaciones Los bloques de habitaciónseseligan estructuran entre sí apor medio dedoble un sembrado partir de un sembradodede vigas vigas enIPR. el sentido transversal, logrando El primer sembrado son las dos vigas una muy buena articulación, creando de ligar inferiores, que tienen elypropósito poca inercia en el el sentido corto. En el apoylas cartelas; segundo sembrado, sentido ado largoencima del proyecto, estructura de las la vigas de liga, es el tiene mayor pora lalohabitación, que para y sobre marco inercia, que carga contrarrestar estas fuerzas se propuso una este se de losa nervada de 50 cm, que sirviera como refuerzo, además de un sembrado de trabes entre las cartelas.

Restoration of foundations Fundamental for the excavation of the parking levels, and for the conservation of the original façade; this was done by caging the original masonry footing inside a waffled slab.

Original masonry foundation

Waffle slab caging

Façade Red oak louvers, treated for exteriors were used to passively control sun and wind exposure, while allowing privacy into the buildings.




8 9


3 4


01 Viga IPR 18 x 36 cm entre cartelas 02 Marco de Viga IPR 18 x 36 cm 03 PTR 2” x 4” 04 Tablón de madera de pino tratada para exteriores, arseniato de cobre cromatado 05 Cartela estructural de concreto armado 06 Doble cristal 9 mm, pieza de 3.50 x 2.50 m 07 Junta de soleras para recibir cristal 08 Sellador para juntas 09 PTR 2” X 4”

Encachetado en pergola 01 PTR 2” x 4” 02 T de soleras 2” x 6” 03 Encachetado de tablón de madera de pino tratada para exteriores 04 Ensamblaje de tablones


3 2 4


Next page Shared gathering space and roof garden on top of rehabilitation and gym. Library and art studio. View of rehabilitation and gym from garden on top of the health clinic. 10

Wooden faรงade Steel bar welded to iron beams sandwiched between two sheets of exterior treated red oak.

Seismic joint Exterior raised floor with built in plant container. Detail also shows a Waboflex seismic joint with rubber expansion joint seal.

Installations Water and waste installations in a typical apartment bathroom.

Gardens Built in concrete plant container.

Terrace Apartment terrace with raised teak floor, and sliding glass doors. 12

Next page: 1 Roof lounge and terrace. 2 Apartment corridors and gathering spaces. 3 Apartment with terrace. 4 Health clinic and laboratory.

Classroom for equity Competition 2012

El Coporito

School and community center

Third place, and honorary mention for use of sustainable materials. Location:El Coporito, Temascaltepec, State of MĂŠxico Critics: Juan Carlos Cano and FermĂ­n Andrade Partners: Cristina Alessi, and Santiago de Zulueta The competition was focused on the design of a school for a specific rural community in the outskirts of Mexico City. The aim of our project was to design a community center that doubled as school, playground, library and event center for the whole community; with a special focus in designing an easy and replicable construction method that was cheap to maintain and in harmony with the climate and environmental conditions. We had the privilege of working with the people of the community throughout the six month design process, and through the two month construction, during which we learned all about traditional Mexican construction methods.


a c a. Mexico City b. State of Mexico c. Coporito

El Coporito community and design process.

Project site and soccer field.

Site plan and sections.


Classroom and library.

Kitchen, cafeteria and restrooms.


Structural axonometric

Corrugated steel sheeting

Pine supporting beams

Mineral wool for thermal insulation

Pine slabs

Pine beams and columns with steel joints.

Pine wood forms wall system

Site model Detail model Section detail model

Wall system The idea was to design a wall system that was cheap, used simple and easy to find materials, had a fast construction method, and was easy to replicate. The walls are wooden forms for concrete, held together by a pine frame and pine columns. For thermal insulation we proposed mineral wool slabs sandwiched between the forms, and an interior finish of pine slabs.


Building the school and teamwork

During three months, we had the opportunity to work with the winning team, improving the design and construction concept, to include our own research. Together the eight of us redesigned and built a school that is still in use not only as a place of learning, but also as a community center, playground, gymnasium, library, and event center. Through this project the community was able to create a town center to gather, providing with a sense of belonging and stronger community ties.

The construction process


Publication in Archdaily 2012 school-for-el-coporito-antonio-pena-juan-garay-alexis-avila/


La Tongolele house

Location: D.F., México Critics: Arturo Ortiz Tongolele is a Cuban exotic dancer who was active from 1950 through 1970 in the Mexican film industry, appearing alongside Pedro Infante, Germán Valdés “Tin Tan”, among others. She is considered the most important exotic dancer in latin american media, and her style has been said to be one of the best. This house was designed for Tongolele when she was recently married in the 50’s and raising three children with her husband, a musician. At the time she divided her work between teaching exotic dance, experimenting with ceramics, and acting.

East view

Living room 24

Dance studio

Ground floor

First floor

Second floor 25

Section a-a’

Section b-b’

Section c-c’


Detail on steel beam connections.

1 Steel connector plate for steel beams and concrete wall.



2 Detail for steel frames in folding glass doors.

3 Detail for dance floor.



House at the mangrove Location: Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit This project was focused in designing a house that had a strong relationship with the outdoors, never isolating the spaces, but integrating them into the the mangrove and the jungle. This way, we developed a linear project where you would always step outside in order to go anywhere. The linear aspect is emphasized by the main building, covering the entire length of the lot, and housing the bedrooms, all of them with direct access into the gardens. The other two buildings mark the beginning and end of the project, the first one housing the storage room, and the second one the kitchen and living room. The way they are located allow the garden to be broken down into smaller patios with different qualities, one as a playground, and the second one as a breathing space between nature and the constructed space while also framing a view into the untouched mangrove.

Storage room

Main building, bedrooms

Kitchen and living room

Mangrove and canal

N Floor plan








Southwest façade

Section a - a’

Section b- b’

Section c - c’


Construction process



Puerto Escondido Bay, Oaxaca.

Urban regeneration

Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca Critics: Pablo Aboumrad Individual project In 2016 the new highway from the city of Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido, a small surf town in the Pacific Mexican coast, will be completed, bringing with it 10,000 plus cars each day. The small town of Puerto Escondido is not equipped with the necessary infrastructure to sustain this sudden increase in tourism. With this problem in mind we developed a proposal for a natural growth of the town into a sustainable small city. This was done through waste and water management, local food production, transportation, town planning for a community focused growth, and cultural and local production increase, through small business and economical programs.

Specific action strategy

Current state of Bay area

Instead of percieving town planning as the design of a whole area, we chose to develop certain key points that treat education, economic support, waste and water management, and food production, and connect them through a transportation system, that would enable a natural and sustainable growth of the bay.

Residential / Informal mixed use Formal mixed use Hotel and commercial Proposal for social and cultural space Proposal for water and waste managment Initial growth

5 year projected growth

1 School and linear park

2 Kiosk and artisan workshops

By locating a new school in this residential area, and through re-zoning of the surrounding lots of the park, we are creating an active park and mini town-center for this isolated area. The existing park will be redesigned with defined zones for playgrounds, picnic areas and leisure spots, providing the area with more variety and a deeper sense of community.

In order to provide economical activities for the women in the neighborhood we designed workshops that serve as community centers and shops, and can be replicated throughout the bay.

Wetland growth in existing polluted rivers

3 Garbage, farm and market

4 Center for economical development

5 Wetland water treatment

Waste management is a grave issue in the bay; by taking advantage of the organic waste, the land can be used for local farming and market, transforming waste into a local resource. Inorganic waste can be sold, recycled, and reutilized in the artisanal workshops.

Community centers that double as a business assistance center, and technical schools, where local producers can get together sharing and receiving assistance with finance, administration, promotion, exportation, etc. and people can learn trades from carpentry to computing.

There is no sewage system or water management in the bay, forcing people to use poorly functioning septic tanks. As a way to restore the natural wetlands, and manage water waste, it is proposed to grow the wetlands throughout the whole beachfront, and use it to clean water that can be reutilized for farming or drained to the ocean.

Use of fertile land for local food production



2 Wetland and walkway in beach front

4 5

Experience and sensuality

Investigation on the perception of architecture

Critics: Pablo Kobayashi and Alberto Lara “Sensuality has been known to overcome even the most rational buildings.� Advertisements, Bernard Tschumi. With this investigation, we attempted to understand sensuality and the way it relates to space. We explored different aspects of the representation of architecture, through four stages: exploration, narrative, superimposition, and visualization. Sensuality in architecture is achieved through time, desire and fear. The representation of architecture must expand to be able to include a narrative of the senses.

Stage 1: Dual spatial exploration Two cameras, the first is hand-held, and records what I see, the second is attached to my back, and records what is behind me. The city and its architecture must be studied and thought of through the experiences they create. It is through sensuality (of the senses) that we relate to architecture, not through plans and images.

Stage 2: Film narrative Time Movement Light/Shadow In this stage we explored the sensual qualities of light, transparency, and movement.

Stage 3: Superimposition Superimposition is when two or more images are placed over each other. By separating the film narrative from its context and superimposing it in an urban space we dissolve the images into each other, creating a new sense of connection to the sensual experience.


Stage 4: Visualization of a narrative

Space is constantly changing through the way we travel in it. With this drawing we play with the idea of modifying the drawn space by the way our hands move/bend/twist/compress/enlarge the paper.

(The relationship between men and space) “... is not static, and it has little to do with a linear point perspective, developed during the Renaissance, and still taught to this day in most art and architecture schools; instead, men perceives space just like other animals, with a dynamic perspective, directly related to action; what can happen in a certain space, contrary to what can be passively understood from said space.� Maurice Merleau-Ponty Phenomenology of perception

Renee Gutierrez  

Architecture portfolio

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