46 VPO in Mairena

Architects: Gabriel Verd, Simone Solinas
Collaborators: Santiago Bermejo (Estructuras), IDD Consultores (Instalaciones), Eduardo Vázquez López (Arquitecto Técnico), Federico Farina, Ronit Shmaryahu (Arquitectos colaboradores), Julia Cartaxo Andrade e Silva (maqueta)
Year: 2006 (concursos), 2008 (proyecto), 2009-2011 (construcción)
Customer: SODEFESA (Sociedad para el Desarrollo Económico y Fomento del Empleo del Ayuntamiento de Mairena del Aljarafe)
Built area: 6.738 m2
Budget: 3.853.040 €
Photography: Roland Halbe

Finalist Gold Medal for Italian Architecture 2012 (Fondazione La Triennale di Milano)

The project was built in an area of residential expansion in the outer suburb of Seville, in the south of Spain.

The small size of the plot and the high housing density that was required suggested a court-type solution. The patio played a key role as an area for social interaction and made it possible to achieve the objective of giving the 46 apartments (2 or 3 bedrooms) two prospects – on the inner courtyard and on the street.

Each apartment is divided by a central access with service facilities. The bedrooms have tall, narrow windows and are on the northern side while the sitting rooms and kitchens that give onto the southern side have large windows. The terraces are designed as outdoor extensions of the sitting rooms and their projections shade the large windows during the summer months while allowing the sun to enter during the winter. This means that all the apartments are exposed on both sides, with cross ventilation.

On the ground floor, shops are separated by entrances to the vertical circulation systems which go through the block from one side to the other, linking the internal courtyard and the road. The complex is complete with parking spaces and store rooms for each apartment.

The materials, which are those for low-income housing, are finished in simple ways, such as pre-coloured plasterwork with different textures and nuances, depending on the surface to be made. The use of corrugated zinc panels in five different alloys – opaque on the ground floor and microperforated on the upper floors of the apartments – gives the impression of a space with colours and reflections that change during course of the day.