By a strategic shift in the typical position of the communication cores, we went from a known sequence of medium-sized courtyards -which merely fulfill regulatory aspects- to a single, unique courtyard that amplifies its possibilities. Compared to the typical transversal placement in the buildings of the masterplan from Benisaudet, “Made in AL” is committed to a longitudinal placement of the communication cores, which not only allows a direct visual relationship with the neighboring park but also considerably improves the entry of light and solar energy into all the dwellings.
On the other hand, “made in AL” proposes to demonstrate, through its aesthetics, not only the necessary industrialization of its construction process and environmental sensitivity, but also a profound local condition: from the use of characteristic awnings of these latitudes, to the adoption of the chromatic range of the neighborhood where the intervention is located. We seek, thus, to propose a kind of “beauty” of our own and an alternative to contemporary proposals for public protection housing in other contexts of the Mediterranean arc.
“The heart of the city”
By enabling this unique patio, access to the house is dignified, becoming a sensory, phenomenological and bioclimatic experience. In addition, its south façade would be completely open, which not only favors solar capture, but also this void becomes a large access door to the building, entering into a friendly urban dialogue with the neighboring park. For their part, the walkways that connect both interior facades are slightly oversized so that they can occasionally become places for unregulated stays, meetings or extensions of home itself. What in other cases of social housing is assumed by the figure of the corridor (and its lobbies for access to housing) in this case is assumed by transverse walkways that not only reduce the linear meters of travel but, above all, avoid the usual intimacy and privacy issues.
An open door
From an urban point of view, it would be the void (the courtyard) and not the opposite (the building) that would be using its scale to establish a difference with the rest of the neighboring architecture. “Made in AL” seeks, with this, to produce a small innovation. The patio, by no longer being hidden to become the most significant element of the access façade, wants to be an urban event that aims to raise awareness -through its image and presence- about the most social and environmental aspects of sustainable development. “Made in AL”, seeks to be a pilot project not only for its economic, social and environmental condition but, and above all, for its communicative and educational capacity. In other words, by showing his soul it intends to raise awareness and educate all those who pass by.
In addition, this patio acts as an articulating space between the outdoor public space and the common spaces of the new building. Thus, a pleasant sequence is established between the neighboring park, the street and the patio with the interior common spaces, the interior plot or the access walkways to the dwellings.
An indeterminate “capable” matrix
Concepts such as equity, gender or resilience lead us to propose a typology based on a non-hierarchical matrix of rooms: 56 per floor, of which 14 incorporate a kitchen, allowing maximum system flexibility and adaptability within the dwelling (all have an area greater than 10m2). Homes with 2, 3 and 4 rooms (1, 2 and 3 bedrooms in the most traditional sense) can be organized in different numbers according to need and organically over time through very simple transformations. On the other hand, the layout of all the rooms physically and visually connected to each other allows for a more complex programmatic relationship between them, as well as amplifying the feeling of spaciousness and light inside – fundamental qualities for domestic comfort and habitability.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the disappearance of the figure of the corridor and the hall -in favor of a single central distributor of 3m2- and the consequent generous dimensioning of the rooms, allows ALL the homes to be 100% ACCESSIBLE. Disability is a situation from which no one is unaware throughout life, either temporarily or permanently.
A warm place
The reduced number of floors allows cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be proposed as a feasible solution for the structural framework, facades and interior partitions above ground. Below ground, the most feasible solution is to use elements of prefabricated concrete. If we add to this the use of industrialized materials with a low carbon footprint, we can be talking about great benefits in terms of circularity and hypocarbonization.
For its part, the possibility of closing the patio with a glass envelope -like a greenhouse- is an option that can contribute considerably to the passive energy efficiency of the building.
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