• LOCATION: Las Rosas. Madrid
  • YEAR: 1996-1998

The communication between the M-30 and M-40 ring motorways through the construction of a tunnel fast track, spectacularly revalued the land where the Administration had created an "apartheid" for the marginal population, with perimeter concrete wall included that accentuated, if possible, its shameful character. The conflictive neighborhood, with a constant presence in the events section of all media, became pompously called "O'Donnell Prolongation" by real estate operators. On these lands the planning extended a grid for edification in closed block, "revival" of the eighteenth-century expansion, with narrow depths axes, chamfered corners of ridiculous dimension (7 m.), and five storeys high, except in the plots with front to the Avda. de Aquitania in which the building body should be raised two more floors, to emphasize the character of commercial arcaded route.

On the site delimited by the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Ravenna and Avda. De Aquitania streets, the Madrid City Council granted the surface right for 75 years to a cooperative formed by residents of the San Pascual Neighborhood and La Alegría for the construction of social housing that will solve, in part, the young people need, mostly from very limited resources.

The town planner put forward the value of uniformity by determining a single typology, when slopes greater than 5% are totally discouraged for closed block planning. The problem was solved by absorbing the unevenness with the garage floor as a plinth on which the building rests.

The project prioritized the quality of the residential units jumping over the morphological laws of the apple, through the introduction of compositional schemes typical of the open block. The prismatic volumes are supported by the alignments of the four streets, joining on the upper floors with clotheslines as a bridge.

All sequenced dwellings have cross ventilation and its design sought to achieve the economy of surfaces grouping in a single space the function of lobby and distributor without giving up the independence between areas of coexistence and rest.

The exterior order, tense and rough, which formally expresses a conceptual unity, houses a very different reality inside, to which functions of domesticity, kitchens and rooms are adapted, dumped in terraces running along all the facades , from which the adult look can follow the boisterous game of children in the courtyard, isolated from the urban noise. The regulatory perimeter road inside the block for the circulation of emergency vehicles is used to ride bicycles and scooters.

The exterior facades are flat, accentuating that character with the position of the blinds on the inside of anodized aluminum windows, designed «au longueur». The provision of visors of exposed concrete has the function of attenuating the solar radiation and the protection of the corrugated aluminum sheet against the action of rain and hail. Following the European tradition, the location of houses on the ground floor was not renounced. , contributing the protection bars of their windows to the hardness of the exterior image.

The materials used in the façades of the block patio are intentionally nicer, resin board finished in cherry wood and klinker brick, getting a warm and pleasant atmosphere that over time will add the greenness of the branches of the trees still incipient.