Madrid Social Housing
In a suburban Madrid neighborhood of conventional, anonymous housing blocks, Morphosis devised a typology of porosity to suit the social ideals of this project type.
As an alternative to towering blocks of faceless units, this project explores a radically different social model that integrates landscape and village topologies. By grafting properties commonly found in detached villas onto this low-income housing project the architects achieved a multi-family living complex with amenities such as loggias, green spaces, and domestically scaled massing that are not normally found in public housing in Spain.
The basic parti is an extruded “J”: a low-rise “village” building, flanked by a tall, slender bar to the North and a lower multi-level bar building to the South.
A layer of landscape overlaid upon a facade composed of a series of open spaces and idiosyncratic punctures combine to break down the institutional nature of the public housing project.
Open spaces occur on three different scales: small, domestic patios inside the individual residential units, mid-sized public courtyards that punctuate the low residential structure, and the large, communal, landscaped space, the paseo.
The landscaped lattice folds up vertically; like a carpet, plant growth covers the flat village and climbs up the taller buildings creating an idyllic refuge from the urban surroundings.
The paseo, shaded by trees and a vegetation-covered trellis, takes the place of a conventional interior lobby.
The design brings open green space to a dense urban milieu. The idiosyncratic topology creates a community-oriented social fabric and challenges the prevalent urban social order.