Cielito Community, Comerío

Cielito Community, Comerío

Cielito Community

Architect: Emilio Martinez
Location: Cielito Community, Comerio, Puerto Rico
TOS[er]: Alexandra Pagán
Posted: May 2013

Design Objectives:

  • Puerto Rico Post-Montage, 2008
    • Sewage Water Management
    • Rain Water Management
    • Power Infrastructure
    • Parking areas
    • Waste removal
    • Pedestrian & Vehicular Circulation
  • Eliminate, redesign or fix abandoned and deteriorated structures
  • Bring some of the town’s urban texture into Cielito
  • Link Cielito’s streets to the town’s grid

Emilio’s Approach:

  • Work in tandem with the community to define and address their needs.
  • Create public spaces:
    • Conversion of Colmado Guerrero into a community support office. A roof plaza and safer circulation for cars and pedestrians form part of the new office.
    • Redesign an abandoned school that was the symbol of entrance to the community. The project consists of a Fine Arts School with a clock tower that serves as an entrance symbol and an interior patio that opens up the classrooms and becomes a concert and activity center for the school.
    • Recuperate a linear park next to the school.
    • Create a Stepped Walkway to clean and organize the space and its surrounding houses.
  • Design general improvements to infrastructure including: waste removal areas, parking and roads.
  • Develop a community-specific housing typology.
  • Propose an underground community center with rooftop courts (un-built).


  • 2006- Honor Award AIA Puerto Rico Chapter.
  • 2005- Honorary Mention- 9na Vienal de Arquitectura de Puerto Rico.

TOS[er] Reaction: The project completely revitalized a community that was in dire need of a comprehensive urban strategy and public spaces. It took into account the needs and thoughts of the residents in order to create a place specific to the existing community. By studying its problems and evolutionary development the design embraced phenomena such as the addition and segmenting of rooms in existing housing. These tendencies informed the proposed housing typology. The new houses embraced the segmented look of the town and redirected it into a small but extremely functional house with colloquial elements, such as, zinc rooftops and colorful walls. Redesigning the infrastructure and circulation of the area made way for the growth of public spaces like the stepped walkway, the rooftop plazas, the linear plaza and the new school. This school gave the community something irreplaceable to offer to the town: a school of fine arts. Its unique and open design creates an atmosphere of sharing talents and collective learning, while offering a new face/symbol to the entrance of community.