December 2020

Posts tagged as 'Social Housing'

Carabanchel Project by Dosmasuno Arquitectos; photo by Miguel de Guzman

Dosmasuno Arquitectos, the architectural practice established in 2002 by Ignacio Borrego, Nestor Montenegro and Lina Toro have realised this highly-expressive, seven-storey (including basement) social housing building located in the south-western suburban area of Madrid, Carabanchel. Characterised by its numerous protruding volumes, the Metabolist structure has been completed in 2008 and encompasses 52 single-, 35 double- and 15 triple dwellings as well as over one hundred parking slots, commercial premises and an adjacent green area. (more…)

'Alligator' in New Orleans by buildingstudio

This affordable home arose out of the post-Katrina re-housing effort in New Orleans for an inner city neighborhood in dour need of new places to live. buildingstudio was working with an affluent client in Boulder, CO who voiced great concern for the lack of effort being made in New Orleans after the storm. As result we asked if they’d be willing to contribute toward an affordable home for a Katrina refugee. Not only did the clients generously give their own money, they invited their friends and colleagues to participate towards the cost of constructing an affordable home. The total sum contributed was $50,000.00. This generous contribution allows Neighborhood Housing Services, who promotes and markets low-cost properties in economically-strapped neighborhoods of New Orleans, to offer the house at a vastly reduced rate. buildingstudio, contributed its full design and coordination services as well.


'HipHouse Zwolle', photo by Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin

New Poverty = New Richness: With the realisation of this apartment building in Zwolle / Netherlands the Rotterdam based architectural practice Atelier Kempe Thill created 64 new highly comfortable social housing units and offered an alternative to the typical deck-access housing of the 1970s.

'HipHouse Zwolle', photo by Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin

“At the dawn of a new era of neo-liberalism in Europe, social housing is once again regarded with increasing indifference. The implicit assumption is that apartments for the lower social classes ought to be small, cramped, dark, badly built and ugly.
Architecture in the sense of a building art hardly plays a role here, for marketing and spatial qualities are regarded as unimportant and superfluous.
Furthermore, social housing developments are facing great financial pressures due to a tightening of environmental laws, which entails a considerable increase in costs for technical equipment and building components, and negatively affects design opportunities.
International star-architects barely show any interest in the topic. Accordingly, very few alternatives (to standard solutions) are being produced which, by becoming showcases, could act as catalysts to break out of the recent stasis.
The Hiphouse project in Zwolle presented Atelier Kempe Thill with a welcome opportunity to fundamentally question the assignment ‘social housing’. Largely due to the client’s ambition and the active support of urban planners, a prototypical project could be realized without exceeding a typical Dutch standard budget for comparable projects. A radical minimization of architectural means and a visible assertion of the processes and technologies of the building process helped to realize a maximum of living quality.”

'HipHouse Zwolle', photo by Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin

“The deck-access typology is the most common form of multi-story social housing in the Netherlands, because a large number of apartments can be connected to a limited number of stairwells. Despite the social stigma this typology has come to represent, it remains an almost inevitable solution. Due to its extreme cost-efficiency it is still being employed today in large numbers. The very compact building typology realized through the central circulation in Zwolle offers an economic and competitive alternative.
The building block, measuring 23m x 32m and providing 8 units per floor, has a very limited facade surface in relation to its floor area; this favourably affects building costs and enables the high quality detailing of the facade. The housing units are organized around a central core containing a double stair and an elevator. The plan layout allocates the larger apartments to the spatially interesting corners, thus creating apartments with double orientation.
The smaller studio apartments either face east or west, guaranteeing optimum sunlight for all apartments. To compensate for its volumetric compactness, the building’s surface is consistently glazed. Anodized aluminium profiles hold the high quality solar-protection glazing to form the facade. Depending on the viewer’s position the building appears to be covered by a transparent skin or a reflective surface; furthermore, sliding doors provide generously dimensioned facade openings.
As a whole, a very delicate visual balance is achieved. The functional grid of the windows and the underlying construction form a rigid architectural order, which is counterbalanced by a spontaneous collage of colourful apartment interiors. In a display of the complexities of city life a vital and optimistic image emerges, striking up intensive communication with the neighbourhood. This image is collective as well as individual, for it is – consciously or unconsciously – formed with the active participation of every inhabitant. The ‘building in use’ therefore essentially becomes the facade.”

'HipHouse Zwolle', photo by Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin

'HipHouse Zwolle', photo by Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin

'HipHouse Zwolle', photo by Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin

more information about the project @ Architonic

to the Atelier Kempe Thill profile @ Architonic

Red + Housing by ORBOS Architcets

Red + Housing by ORBOS Architcets

The New York-based OBRA Architects was invited to acknowledge and mark the first-year anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake through participation in CROSSING: Dialogues for Emergency Architecture, an exhibition on emergency housing at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing.

“Working from New York City, we seek to take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to the victims of future catastrophe around the world by advancing disciplinary thinking about temporary emergency housing.”

The completed full-scale prototype was exhibited in the entry courtyard to the Museum from May 12 to May 24, 2009.

Red + Housing by OBRA Architects

Red + Housing by OBRA Architects

Architecture on the Edge of Survival involves the development of an original prototype of emergency housing for future potential deployment in areas of natural or man-made disaster anywhere in the world. Emergency housing from the point of view of design is only an extreme form of architecture. Its context is that of almost unsustainable conditions, and its object, the creation of an environment we can inhabit temporarily while living on the edge.

Red+Housing is proposed with the knowledge that, when living on the edge of survival, action needs to be decisive and precise. By definition, an emergency will arise suddenly and demand fast response, but the immediate actions we take can have long-term consequences.


Part of the concept: marking the disaster area with the emergency architecture

The design has been developed as an in-progress embodiment of the following 10 Points of Architecture on the Edge of Survival.

01. Universal Application

This prototype aspires to universal applicability. Its development contemplates a series of simple modifications that would make it a useful solution anywhere in the world: add insulation and a stove for cold climates; remove doors and windows for tropical climates; replace materials according with local availabilities, etc.

02. Effective Performance

The project makes economical use of materials by enlisting the structural strength of post-tensioning. The bamboo plywood strips of the dome support the enclosure, with the same force with which a bow propels an arrow into the sky.

03. Economical

The project proposes the use of locally available low-cost materials. The materials are always replaceable and are chosen for their performance rather than appearance. When working in different locations materials which become exotic can be replaced with ones that are locally abundant.



04. Transportable

All parts are collapsible to flats and can therefore be easily packed and transported.

05. Ease of Assembly

All connections are a simple friction bond of male/female parts which are then secured with a minimum of fasteners.

06. Renewable Materials

In China the project is proposed almost entirely in bamboo plywood, one of earth’s most renewable of materials. The cover fabric can also be considered as woven out of waterproof bamboo fibers.

07. Digitally Pre-fabricated

Digital pre-fabrication makes the project economical in its speed of production and also easy to assemble due to the precision of its fabrication.

08. Open Work

The cruciform house, while iconic, retains in its biaxial symmetry a certain ‘indifference’ that allows its easy recombination with other locally and diversely made structures.

09. Urban/Rural

The geometry of the crosses, when deployed together in groups, defines in-between spaces of infinite flexibility that can suggest an ‘urban’ context for a field of houses. Likewise, if a house is erected by itself, the exterior of the cross creates spaces that mediate between interior and exterior providing a context for people to spend time outside.

10. Flexibility of Use

The geometry of the cross allows the inhabitation of the house as either 1, 2, 3, or 4 different units of housing.



The value and need of effective emergency housing is self-evident. There are, of course, a number of different approaches to be considered and our intent is to utilize the opportunity of the architectural design process to test and explore possibilities which might best benefit victims. We feel architecture has something to contribute not only to their physical but also to their emotional and psychological well-being. Under the extreme conditions of a situation of emergency, architecture is rarely called upon to participate in the creation of temporary housing. This exhibit provides an opportunity to test how “high design” can contribute to apparently pre-eminently pragmatic concerns. Emergency housing from the point of view of design is only an extreme form of architecture. Its context is that of almost unsustainable conditions, and its object, the creation of an environment we can inhabit temporarily while living on the edge.

Location: National Art Museum of China, Beijing, PR China

Architects: OBRA Architects, Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee

OBRA Architects Project Team: Shin Kook Kang, Project Architect, Atsushi Koizumi, Sihyung Lee, Sara Kim, Orla Higgins, Michel Dinis

Special thanks to: National Art Museum of China, United Nations Development Programme China, China Central Academy of Fine Arts

to the OBRA Architects website

'Box House' by Yuri Vital

'Box House' by Yuri Vital

Last year at the tender age of 28 years the Brazilian architect Yuri Vidal received the Award of the Brasilian Institute of Architects in the category social housing. His awarded project, the ‘Box House’ is a residential complex for 17 low-cost units.


But let the architect explain it better:

“With the main duty to tell the world how architecture can contribute to good housing solutions for those who has a less-favored income, this project begins with the ideal that social housings can unite both aesthetic and functional qualities, with no need of high costs.”

One unit

One unit

“A project of a residential complex was needed, and it should combine low cost and a new architecture, to enforce the ideal of quality in a new developer enterprise. Thus, using a cleaning and formal rationality, it was possible to develop a set of 17 low-cost units.

The structural solution, achieved through innovative ideal, show a mixed structure of masonry and conventional structure in which the slab with a large windward sheet is mounted in a beam (flat, so as not to be noticed in the rear below), which in turn connects to the main structure of the house.”



“In a high place and with an expressive slope, the project has an inside street which connects units, providing an axis of great visibility of the surroundings.

Each residence has a one car garage above. To don`t exceed the legal high limit of 6 meters tall established by the city, it was designed a mid-low level to accommodate the garage, deposit and a working area, on the next floor (mid-high level), there is the living room, toilet, kitchen and the service area. The second floor accommodates two bedrooms and a bathroom.

The water tower stands as a structural, plastic and low cost solution to the project, because it is located on the front facade of each unity, giving a individual touch, while concentrating all wet area in only one point.

The details of the project are all largely concerned, mostly to provide economy. It has been described all the way l from the edge of drippers in all slabs, to the interior of the water tank.

The total area is 1011 m², and the area of each unit is 46 m².”

The 'Box House' by Yuri Vital

The 'Box House' by Yuri Vital

Illustration by Yuri Vital

Illustration by Yuri Vital

to the Yuri Vital website

Social Housing by MVRDV and Blanca Lleó. Photo: Ricardo Espinosa

Social Housing by MVRDV and Blanca Lleó. Photo: Ricardo Espinosa

In Madrid-Sanchinarro the first residents received the keys to their apartments in the just completed Celosia building. Jacob van Rijs of MVRDV and Blanca Lleó have completed the social housing block near the Mirador Building, which is an earlier collaboration. The perforated block of Celosia, commissioned by public housing corporation EMVS, comprises 146 apartments, communal outside areas throughout the building, and parking with a commercial program in the plinth all across a total floor area of 21,550 sq m.


The given volume of the city block was divided into 30 small blocks of apartments. These blocks are positioned in a checkerboard pattern next to and on top of each other, leaving wide openings for communal patios throughout the building with views to the city and mountains. 146 one, two and three-bedroom apartments are all accessed via these communal spaces. Most apartments offer additional private outdoor space in the shape of a loggia right behind the front door. The façade is made of coated concrete which was from the ground floor up constructed in a complete mould system, an efficient and clean way to cast concrete, keeping the construction cost to a minimum. The polyurethane coating allows the façade to shimmer and reflect depending on the light conditions.


A system of power efficient boilers is used in the building; solar panels on the roof heat water reducing energy consumption further.



seen @ worldarchitecturenews

For technical support contact Alfred Giolai MVRDV with Blanca Lleó complete Celosia Residence in Spain