The building is located in a new ensanche (expansion) in southwestern Madrid, close to the M-40 ring road. Despite its urban character, the building is situated near large open spaces that constitute urban heat sinks. In addition, it sits on a south-facing slope, which provides very good solar orientation.
The lot and housing program size led to a division of the project in two pieces which, adapting to the site’s perimeter, form two interior plazas connected by a series of steps/stands.
The deep buildings are lit and ventilated by a public network of wind-catching patios, corridors and social condensers that are connected to the plazas, where most of the social interaction will take place. The morphology of this network was designed to harness Madrid’s northwestern cool night winds, which have the potential to cool down any building. This network of spaces was designed parametrically to assure its climatic performance.
Madrid’s material culture imbues the design. The complex draws on the grey material culture (sandstone and limestone) of the landscape to the city’s south. This massive and monolithic building is assembled with prefab concrete panels – dry-assemblage – cast with grey aggregates coming from Madrid’s southern steppes.
This same materiality is extended to the concrete blocks of the ground floor façade and the network of patios, corridors and social condensers. This material honesty is reinforced by our interest in maintenance architecture, designing prefab panels with horizontal trays to account for weathering and conservation.