R+B Arqts had five innovation criteria in mind while designing this social housing project. First, they wanted each apartment to have multiple solar orientations and cross ventilation. Second, the building had to include 100 percent recyclable materials, 85 percent of which should come from recycled materials. Third, they wanted to include some prefabricated elements to aid in construction. Fourth, the facade was to be ventilated with no thermal bridges, and finally, they wanted to use very austere materials assembled in unconventional ways.
The 20 story tower’s exterior is made with prefabricated window systems and recycled aluminum brise-soleil, that provides shading and encourages natural ventilation. Recessed three story tall sections create pockets and every third floor enjoys a balcony. Materials were chosen based on their environmental impact and eventual life cycle. The tower is located in a newly developed plaza called Europa Square, according to Albert Viaplana’s Project, and situated along the Gran Via. In total, the new square will eventually have 26 towers.
Images ©Jordi Surraco
This tower looks like the back of my computer tower with USB ports. Social housing, is that the Spanish equivalent of America's section 8 housing? With the advent of democracy and the 1978 Constitution, the management of social housing depended mostly on the Autonomous regions. This resulted in a wide variety of laws, which make the issue highly dependent on the region. In spite of this, a scheme for “viviendas de protección oficial” (VPO) has been widely used, consisting of Local Councils allowing for building contractors and developing companies to build in public sites or with public loans on condition that a certain percentage of apartments remain subsidized and under control of the local authorities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5JX_t_Tl6I