Gallery: Mecanoo’s Sustainable Social Housing in Málaga, Spain


Delft-based firm Mecanoo Architecten recently began construction on a new green public housing project in Málaga, Spain. Sustainability plays an integral part in the construction of the project, which is located in a new development on the outskirts of Málaga called Universidad. The development comprises 170 residences and it was designed with solar paneling to minimize energy use, and alternating heights of five or six stories to allow natural ventilation and natural light to penetrate the interior spaces.

According to Project Architect Marta Roy, Mecanoo’s housing plan was inspired by the historic inner city of Málaga – it “finds its form following the language of the patios strongly rooted in the Mediterranean culture and therefore Málaga.” Comprised of seven different types of housing from duplex residences to homes designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, the dwellings are situated around eight patios – four large, interconnecting, communal spaces and four small, intimite ones. Each apartment connects to both the larger and smaller patio areas, creating both public and private spaces.

Materiality plays an integral role in the design of the housing complex. Using materials and textures that refer to the constructive tradition of the south of Spain, Mecanoo Architects employ golden-flecked olive colored tiles to the main patio areas and smaller patio’s balconies, while stucco is used as accents around window frames on the main patio space, and as cladding on the smaller patios. By using local materials, Roy tells Inhabitat, “they perform better according to the climactic and socio-economic conditions of Málaga.” The architects also reduced the number of communication cores per house, providing efficiency in terms of economics and energy.

Known for their innovation in the field of collective housing, Project Architect Marta Roy tells Inhabitat, “Housing projects in Mecanoo are always thought from the point of view of the users, creating an environment to simulate their senses.” Expected to be complete in 2010, the project intends to bring a new typology for social housing to Spain, as it promotes innovative services and the idea of building a new and modern neighborhood.

+ Mecanoo Architecten

Via Designboom


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  1. Modern Green Social Hou... December 3, 2010 at 1:01 am

    […] on a site in Bondy, a town east of Paris, the new social housing project is bordered by a gymnasium, school and suburban housing on avenue Henri Barbusse. The four-story […]

  2. ISRAEL JONES EGWARE June 28, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Dear Sir
    I dont think I have more to add as I look forward to hear from you as soon as posible.
    Israel J . Egware.

  3. ISRAEL JONES EGWARE June 28, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Dear Sir.
    I will be glad if you can reply to my message as we are looking for a reputable Contruction Company that can teke huge contructions of Housing Unites in some state in our country Nigeria as the federal Goverment through the various state Govrment have somany houses units to be construct
    At this pint we will like your compnay to be part of this as foreing Techinical Construction company to handle some of these valuable projects.

    If this is okay by you please kindly revert so as to give you a comprehensive details of all project in full. We also want to request you to send us yur company profile as it contained.
    We hope this will meet your rattetion and prompt reply .
    Email:- ( or (
    Rgds Israel J. Egware.

  4. rulaciab June 25, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Interesting project. The designers are taking in account social aspects, architectural typologies and local traditions to make a proposal which responds best to the necesities of people in Malaga.

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