Habitable Station by Rozana Montiel

Rozana Montiel builds Mexican incinerators from corrugated-concrete

Mexican architect Rozana Montiel has developed a "new kind of folded concrete" that is being used to build prefabricated solid-waste furnaces across Mexico.

Rozana Montiel's architecture studio was enlisted to develop a prefabricated furnace that could be quickly rolled out across 17 ports and airports in the country.

The studio chose concrete with a rippled texture because it would be durable in a range of climates.

"The main challenge of this project was that the client wanted ready-made parts, as in a pre-fabricated home, which would adapt to a wide-range of climates – a jungle, a desert," it said.

"We designed a prototype with a new kind of folded concrete, we experimented with the materiality to be durable, malleable and that it required nearly no maintenance."

Habitable Station by Rozana Montiel

The studio, called Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura, undertook a number of experiments to perfect the way to make slabs that were corrugated and curved to form the round shape of the structure.

"We did several tests with molds for the prefabricated pieces, the innovation was to make pieces not only with corrugated concrete, but also curved," it said.

Habitable Station by Rozana Montiel

The walls and roof can be assembled in a couple of days, while the whole station takes four weeks to complete.

The 17 stations will be used to incinerate a range of waste that is deemed dangerous, turning it into ash, flue gas and heat.

"The products that the station combusts comes from an animal or vegetable origin, if they are considered by the authorities as products from abroad that puts the health of the Mexican countryside at risk," the studio added.

Habitable Station by Rozana Montiel

Rozana Montiel's design, called Habitable Station, also provides space for workers. Inside, the curved concrete walls are smooth and punctured with circular openings that allow natural light and ventilation inside.

"The station becomes an inhabitable machine that, in its round arrangement, not only shelters an agreeable work-space but creates a meaningful relationship between the operator and his work.

Rozana Montiel's architecture studio is based in Mexico City. The studio has completed a number of projects in Mexico including pro-bono home for earthquake victims, a revitalised public space in Veracruz and a wood and stone home in Tepoztlán.

Photography is by Sandra Pereznieto.


Project credits:

Project: Rozana Montiel
Collaborators: Ombeline De Laage, Max Garcia, Alin V Wallach
Supplier: Basaltex