La Casita

Southwest Detroit  (2024)

La Casita means small house and has its roots within Puerto Rican culture as a simple, organically constructed folkloric space. These spaces connect history, identity, dance, and learning into a familiar and adaptive vernacular architecture.Traveling as an idea from Puerto Rico to the Bronx, Casitas became a technique to connect the Puerto Rican diaspora and their collective, cultural history.  In Southwest Detroit, we are designing La Casita Cimarrón y Yuketí de Detroit through the vision of Raul Exchevarria, an inspiring community planner and advocate.

Our conception of La Casita Cimarrón uses a simple timber frame, adaptive structure, with details carefully studied and translated from the history of Casita vernacular. The essential parts of the interior, porch as performative stage, Batey, and gardens are reoriented towards the sun to reprioritize the relationship to the environment within the collective space. The Batey is a dynamic, front yard celebration of dancing, music, and singing.