Designed by ADOC [Arquitectura Design Ordenamento Consultores], what we’ve got here today is a proposal for university housing in Zaragoza, Spain. Say it with me now: my ninjas, please… Now, I warned readers in my post on KKA’s fishmarket project that I had a collection of projects that utilize the iconic gable-roofed home shape – and this university housing project is definitely the most extreme / strangest use of the form I’ve come across so far.
The project starts out with a simplistic, minimalist take on the gabled roof house form, creating a single volume to house the university students in an individual module. This module is then multiplied, stacked and arrayed – creating 5 storey housing blocks, seemingly connected by the long central hallways familiar to a typical apartment building.
ADOC likens each floor to a street – individual homes, connected by a shared pathway. We can see this idea in the section best – where the drawing shows not just a narrow hallway, but what looks like a small, two-storey, space that connects the individual volumes to the shared path. Now, I have no idea how big this space is – but it looks to be at least the width of the hallway itself.
That said, if the ‘outdoor’ space is also as long as the individual volume itself and double-height – does this create a useable, individual, ‘outdoor’ emulating space within the structure created by the amalgamation of these individual ‘houses’? It’s definitely a fascinating idea – combining forms we associated with the things we like about single-family homes to create structures that use the land more efficiently, and achieve a higher density without depriving residents of a sense of individual, private space.
Assuming any of this is the case, I think we need to imagine this type of project post-occupancy -where I would expect to find that residents had really taken ownership of their personal volume. Painting, personalizing, decorating, planting – I wonder if you could really achieve the diversity found on an actual street in a project such as this one. I would argue that it may even have to capacity to exceed the individuality found on many streets – as so much single-family residential construction looks so so similar, and the simple fact that single-family homes having clear owners/residents and addresses/land seems to reduce the occupants’ desire to personalize the exterior of the building in additional ways.
Thanks to our ninja Manuel for the link – don’t hesitate to hit me up if you come across something that you think ninjas should know about. Email me at email@example.com – or drop me a DM on Twitter @ArchitectureMNP.
This project was also covered a while back by our ninjas over at plusmood, which you can read here.