A building’s street level façade is steers the public’s first impressions of into the building, setting up a societal perception as to what it has to offer.
In a move that will drastically change the character of street level aesthetics and interaction, southeast Madrid is raising the bar – and the residential spaces – of Vallecas’ built landscape.
A new development known simply as Vallecas Housing has been designed by CRAB studio to cater to an expected population growth of over 100,000 in coming years. This particular social housing scheme goes above and beyond traditional housing plans, taking into account the real ‘social’ element of the build and using that concept to inform the lifted-living design plan.
Following in the footsteps of the Pinto Masterplan, designers made the decision to raise the residential section – all 97 apartments – of the larger development off the ground, leaving the ground level street space free for what has been labeled a ‘free city.’
This community street front will include a small grouping of retail space and kiosks placed on the ground level to encourage spontaneous social interaction and the development of a strong community.
Not only is community life expected to improve by designing in this manner, but the individual residential units have been given the same amount of consideration in order to optimise strong living standards.
The residential space features a wide variety of apartment types to suit a number of different individual or family units. Each apartment has been designed to ensure that natural ventilation and light is maximised. While natural light and ventilation allow for comfort and high interior air quality, major sun exposure can make solar heat gain an issue. In response to this concern, designers have included ‘double eyelash’ shutters that offer solar shading in addition to acting as a ‘breeze-catching’ instrument.
These features promise to substantially improve interior quality while reducing reliance on energy used for heating and cooling.
Focusing heavily on the ‘social’ element of this social housing development, Vallecas Housing offers a fresh approach to an age old residential development design, bringing with it new and most likely positive results.