untercio arquitectura: vallecas 47 social housing project, madrid
untercio arquitectura: vallecas 47 social housing project, madrid untercio arquitectura: vallecas 47 social housing project, madrid
mar 10, 2013

untercio arquitectura: vallecas 47 social housing project, madrid

the main feature of the housing block are the full-height sliding balcony windows / doors



in developing the ‘vallecas 47’ social housing project, local firm untercio arquitectura tried to imagine a dwelling in which they would like to live. the result is a complex which is bright and open, while still being intimate and adaptable– reacting to the changing seasons.


the cross-ventilated structure has been designed to offer inhabitants living options with spaces devoted to private and intimate functions. these can also be transformed into more dynamic communal rooms thanks to the installation of two large sliding windows –  which leave no mullion in the corner – that can open up the interior onto the surrounding environment. the implementation of these expansive moving elements was a direct response to the each units’s small interiors, offering owners a large terrace in the summer, and a spacious living room in the winter.


another consideration of the project was to enhance communal life through the common quarters, interconnecting them visually in order to increase encounters between the dwellers. usually closed stairwells and dark entries from elevators to the individual units are now opened up and exposed to daylight. the stairs cantilever into the south facing courtyard and provide a nice place to chat with a neighbour. this quadrangle binds the building programs together, offering a safe playground for children and bench seating strategically placed to face the busiest area on the ground floor. the development of these sections was to have people meet and develop informal social relations. from an urban point of view, the block is broken into several slices which have been split in order to multiply the free corners. the volumetric composition of the building is adapted to the small and broken image of the old ‘villa de vallecas’ located on the opposite side of the street, while its height and width match the neighboring constructions in the new urban development.



left: corner sliding windows closedright: corner sliding windows open




corner sliding windows open by night




street elevation




view from the south of the courtyard




pedestrian and car park access; courtyard at the rear




parking garage




view of the courtyard from the core of the vertical access


ground floor plan


typical floor plan layout




project info:commission through an open ideas competition organized by EMVS (municipal housing developer in madrid).

location: martín muñoz de las posadas, 1 and 3, ensanche de vallecas, madrid, spainlongitude: 3º37´ 32.54 latitude: 40º 22´33.23

client: EMVS (empresa municipal de la vivienda de madrid)program: 46 apartments, 20 m2 retail and commercial spaces, 47 underground parking placessite area: 1400m2architects: estudio untercio, miguel herráiz gómez, mauro iván bravo hernández, marina del mármol peces, daniel bergman vázquez, michael beckerbuilding engineer: alfonso sáenz garcíacontractor: structure fercaberbuilding envelope: dragadosbuilding facilities: SP arquitectura e ingenieríastructural engineering: mecanismo diseño y cálculo de estructuras S.L.telecommunication engineering: ramón francia castillo, ingeniero de telecomunicacionesphotographs: pedro pegenaute

project time frame:2006 – first prize open competition.2006 – start design.2007 – start construction.2012 – project completion.

planning constraints: traditional urban block with communal space in the courtyard

construction:concrete basement from foundations up to ground floor – concrete slab on column grid at 5msteel framework from first to fifth floor with composite slab on steel pillars and beams

materials:façades – baumit EPS heat insulating system and external wall insulation system; façade plates made from hard polystyrene foam act as heat insulating layer applied over a brick wall weather resistant, vapour permeable finishing coal is added to glazed surface areas – technal GTi sliding balcony doors(aluminium profiles) in living rooms

building costs: 4.080.144, 88 €



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • There are some outstanding details here, congratulations to the architects and to the EMVS for their foresight!
    Very liveable little apartments with a genuine desire to encourage social interraction and cohesion.

    blau says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
501,544 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample