26 social houses in Alameda. Málaga

project report

This work responds to a very concrete situation: a warped topography, a particular relationship with the landscape, an extreme continental climate and the budgetary restraints associated with social housing. Far from the urban center on somewhat higher and more open lands, the building site lacks the comforts of the historical district. Its character is linked to the presence of the Sierra de Alameda Mountains. The almost-rectangular block is divided into two rows of thirteen rectangular plots each with façades of about 6.5 meters and depths of 18 meters.

The intervention is set into the landscape in a unitary way under inclined roofs whose color matches the clay soil of the area, conforming with the topography of the hillside, which drops eight meters towards the west and two towards the north.

In response to differences in orientation and the transversal change of elevation, two different types of houses have been built. The main difference between them is their relation to the street. Each house is established in continuity with the ground, with two patios, one exterior and the other interior. On the north side, the patios are elevated with respect to the street, and on the south side, they are lower. This discontinuity caused by the topography allows us to work with the ideal of limits in a place where life on the street is a part of popular culture. There is a zone before the entrance that extends the habitable space beyond the parameters of constructed surface for social housing. In that same sense, the backyards are the continuation of the inside rooms. This common patio functions like an impluvium and is paved with a smoothed slab to keep the water from affecting the foundations. The exterior patios, however, are left with soil, with expectation that the users will plant trees or geraniums along the concrete walls.

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