The Project for 24 social dwellings is set on a new residential area in “Valdefierro”, a neighborhood in the Southwest of Zaragoza located between the old road to Madrid, the Imperial Canal of Aragon and the green passage Oliver–Valdefierro which will link the neighborhood with the Ebro river.
The future building site enjoys a privileged location within the sector as it borders a green space of considerable dimension. This strategic location encouraged us to formulate our first initiative which wasn’t other than to engage the building site with the above mentioned space. The idea of the main access to the building as well as the living areas open to the elements is motivated by our search for such a space. Consequently, the dwellings will be accessed through the communal space which begins in the park. The courtyard is without a doubt the core proposition of this project. Around it, a selection of functional “STAPLES” will outline the distribution of apartments and thus, we will be in a position to define the different levels of privacy which can be associated to living in community including private spaces as well as communal areas.
Layer 0: Central Core
A “Green place” responsible for moistening the atmosphere. It’s the lung of the building and acts as a temperature control. There is a number of different access passageways which cool the air and create the right atmosphere for neighbors to bond with each other. It is a communal space ideal for socializing and collective activities of all sorts.
Semi-public transit area connected to the “Green core”. Due to the way the corridors are arranged they are better protected against the more aggressive external agents. The fact there is only one main access to the communal area combined with the existence of multiple corridors allow us to reduce the number of vertical communication points. This clearly encourages energy savings as well as social interaction.
Layer 2: SERVICE SPACE
Service units and technical walls. This is an area purposely built for kitchens, bathrooms, washrooms and hanging laundry. This selection of wet areas is better for use and inspection. The visual contact with the corridor is through ragged windows in an effort to protect the privacy of each individual property.
Layer 3. INTERNAL DISTRIBUTION
Layer 4: LOUNGE AREA
Our aim with this space is to orientate the largest number of living areas to the outside and in particular to the south. Different orientations create a whole range of different properties. The perimeter arrangement of this layer and its orientation certainly provides warmer temperatures. The structural adjustments to the “staples” or layers that make up the proposed organization allow us to achieve through the use of light partitions increased permeability and complete flexibility with the living areas.
This is an exterior frame used for protection purposes through an open and permeable skin. The space between this skin and the one responsible for defining the limits of the living areas, creates a thermal area thanks to an adjustable solar shield. The sliding panels covered with perforated sheet metal achieve total protection during the summer months but also complete access to the outer area during the winter. The dark color used to build the precast concrete panels units making up the external layer looks serious and professional, something that totally contrasts with the white tone of the second layer of the façade. The building looks dark and heavy to the outside world, the inside on the other hand is the complete opposite, light and bright.Location: Andrómeda 8, Finca Nº1, Área F-57/8, Zaragoza, Spain
Architect: Javier Prieto Architects
Architect: Javier Prieto Merino. Project Designer/Principal in Charge Project name: 24 Social Dwellings in Saragossa (Spain) Collaborators:
Architecture: Cristina Argos Moras. Architect
Technical Architect: Gabriel López
Installations: Ingenieria Torné S.L | A&T Telecomunicaciones
Structure: Ateco. Centro de Cálculo de Estructuras S.L. Client: Sociedad Municipal Zaragoza Vivienda S.L.U.
Program: 24 Social Dwellings, Parking and Commercial Premises
Plot Area: 836 sqm
Total Area: 2.834 sqm
Planned completion date: 2014
Awards: First Price National Competition