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This project, which highlights values such as simplicity, compactness and economy, is designed as part of a coherent social-housing programme. In a setting of narrow streets, buildings should not present themselves to the outside community through bay windows, clothes drying areas or balconies that focus on the immediate view and further reduce the already cramped dimensions of the streets. We thus included window openings within one sole part of the ceramic volume, wrapping them in sheet iron covering the total mass of the enclosure. This enhances continuity, providing both unity and compactness. In order to reduce the sense of volume in such a dense area with such limited views, the building is divided into two parts: one black slate plinth that disappears in the corner, matching the colours of the pavement and the tarmac to visually lighten the view from street level. A lighter unit made of prefabricated ceramic, glass and aluminium rests on top of this. The ceramic, ventilated façade promotes energy saving by obtaining optimal thermal performance throughout the building.

typology: Public / Housing location: Ventilla, Madrid area: 1.185 m² status: completed 2008 client: IVIMA (Instituto de la Vivienda de Madrid) TEAM:
principal architect: Israel Alba
associated architect: Mónica Domínguez
project architect: Jorge Valseca Ruiz-Larrea
engineering consulting: Carmen Castro, José Ramón Espada
building services consulting: Maproing, S.L. (Mario Abajo)
construction company: UTE Ciopsa-Alcuba
photographs: Jesús Granada

Ventilla, Madrid