ELcroquis 2005 2009
MADRID SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECTS
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MVRDV was set up in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. In close collaboration the 3 principal architect directors produce designs and studies in the fields of architecture, urbanism and landscape design. Early projects such as the headquarters for the Public Broadcasting Company VPRO and the WoZoCo housing for elderly in Amsterdam brought MVRDV to the attention of a wide field of clients and reached international acclaim. Realized projects include the Dutch Pavilion for the World EXPO 2000 in Hannover, an innovative business park 'Flight Forum' in Eindhoven, the Silodam Housing complex in Amsterdam, the Matsudai Cultural Centre in Japan, Unterföhring office campus near Munich, the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, an urban plan and housing in The Hague Ypenburg, the rooftop - housing extension Didden Village in Rotterdam, the cultural centre De Effenaar in Eindhoven, the boutique shopping building Gyre in Tokyo, Veldhoven’s Maxima Medical Centre and the iconic Mirador housing in Madrid. The grand variety of projects continues in the work of the office. Current projects in progress or on site include various housing projects in the Netherlands, Spain, China, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, USA and other countries, a television centre for Zürich, a public library in Spijkenisse (Netherlands), a central market hall in Rotterdam, a culture plaza in Nanjing, China, large scale urban masterplans in Oslo, Norway, Tirana, Albania and a masterplan for an eco-city in Logrono, Spain. Large scale visions for the future of greater Paris and the doubling in size of Dutch new town Almere are developed. The more than sixty architects, designers and staff members of MVRDV are organized into teams headed by project leaders. In each team, different fields and scales of MVRDV’s projects are reflected, both in the (international)
background of team members and in the variation of work. To allow a wide range of commissions to be handled, special design teams are set up for individual commissions. Each design team is led by one of the principal architects (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs or Nathalie de Vries) and a senior architect / project manager. Based on the scope of the work in the different phases designers and specialists will be added to the team. The senior architect is responsible for the day-to-day communication and organization. The design team will be assisted by advisors in the fields of building and installation technology, building sciences, building management and building costs. In this way MVRDV’s generalism and verve is linked with the specialization and thoroughness of the other team members. At an early stage of the design process MVRDV involves as many users and advisors as viable. Reactions to the first designs can be processed quickly, creating a high degree of support for the design and encouraging the sort of new insights that can lead to specific innovative solutions. MVRDV works all over the world and therefore is used to collaborate with local architects, construction groups and specialists. MVRDV has a wide knowledge and experience in working with collective contracts, insurances and planning documents that create a base for collective approaches. MVRDV has permanent relationships with engineering firms to activate the exchange of up to date knowledge. The work of MVRDV is published and exhibited worldwide and received many international awards. The monographic publications FARMAX (1998) and KM3 (2005) illustrate the work of the Rotterdam based office.
MVRDV pursues a fascination for radical methodical research: on density and on public realms. Through investigation and use of the complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary design processes, spaces are shaped methodically. Clients, users and specialists are intensively involved at an early stage of the design process. Reactions to the first designs can be processed quickly, creating a high degree of support for the design and encouraging the sort of new insights that can lead to specific innovative solutions. In this way our generalism and verve is linked with the specialization and thoroughness of the other team members. The products of this approach can vary therefore completely. They range from buildings of all types and sizes, to urban designs, publications and installations, as well as the development of software programs.
It’s now been nearly 20 years since you founded MVRDV and around ten years since you garnered international acclaim with your experimental theory based exhibition Meta-City Data-Town and the landmark Hanover expo-Pavilion. Another decade on, do you feel your practice and approach has changed much as you’ve won and realised more and more projects? Yes this year will actually be our seventeenth together. We had a kick start with a series of Dutch projects which culminated in the Expo-Pavilion, which was indeed a Dutch commission although it was in Germany. We had a Dutch contractor, a Dutch client, everything was Dutch except the site. After that our work attracted a great deal of publicity and also the whole architectural practice started to become more international. At that time we had enjoyed a certain momentum in architecture in the Netherlands, due to a favourable political situation. For the first time in over half a century the Christian Democrats were not in government and this change was reflected in a more optimistic political and economic climate resulting in a series of extraordinary projects. Unfortunately this is now rather different. While a lot of things are still going on at the same time, there is not such a strong momentum anymore, it’s much more conservative and many of our generation of architects are now leaving and spreading their wings outside Holland, big offices like UNStudio and Mecanoo. When we started we had a large commission but quite a small office so we had to team up with technical architects. This way of working is more or less the same as when you work abroad and need a local architect, where you divide the work between the two firms, roughly on a 50:50 basis. So we didn’t need to adapt much to work internationally. In a traditional architectural office you had this kind of drawing room full of people doing the technical drawing. That’s not really how it works for us because we have specific locations where we work that are always different and each one has its own requirements. We are more design orientated – more concept orientated – and we happen to work in different places around the world. We also do master planning, it’s very varied, it goes from the large scale to small scale.
I read that your office feels it is unusually productive, that you have developed a way of working more efficiently with less stress, particularly towards deadlines. Would you agree with this and would you mind sharing some of the management strategies and technologies you employ to achieve this? Of course architecture offices have their own momentum and that’s never really comparable with a normal office job. We try to keep it kind of normal, of course people work late but we hear from many people working for other offices that it gets too much, we tend to be relaxed relatively speaking. It’s not so much to do with technology, it’s something more personal. All architects are using space but you can do it in a very traditional way or you can do it literally in a space in a way when things go far out. In essence they are not that different, they are both interesting at the same time. In Metacity/Datatown you described your offices home, the Netherlands, as a Dreamland for economics, culture, and production. In many ways you base your practice on the involvement of these forces by adopting the most common results of economics and consumption – density and arbitrariness, even banality – as your own tools. Although these factors are often associated with alienation even brutality, you have proven that they can be used to create surprising yet dignified public spaces and intimate dwellings. Do you feel that by choosing to tweak the ordinary or banal, you create buildings more grounded in contemporary culture, showing how it could be creatively enhanced as opposed to being replaced or temporarily excluded? You could explain this in many ways; I think good architecture should have many levels of communication. It should be understandable in everyday life, to people who don’t know anything about architecture; they should be able to get the point whereas someone else could explain it in a different context. We have this practical and conceptual approach, we try to combine these two, it’s never just concept or it would be La-Po-La – too academic. It comes from a hands-on approach and also a curiosity and open mindedness so we also take on certain questions and ask ourselves why is it working like that? This can lead to studies like Metacity/Datatown, an absurd study but with an interesting edge to it which deals with the use of space. All architects are using space but you can do it in a very traditional way or you can do it literally in a space in a way when things go far out. In essence they are not that different, they are both interesting at the same time. As architects we are all space oriented but unlike some we work scalelessly. Perhaps this stems from our education in the office where we had this study story from Jacob Bakema, who did a series of studies from stools, chair to city. This scalelessness, it came back in the study, you had to do master planning, to cover all scales, we kept doing that somehow.
We try and make the small stuff and the big stuff all relate, they are really independent projects but they all relate to certain views of the world. It sounds bigger than it is but that’s basically how it works. Unfortunately this is now rather different, a lot of things are still going on at the same time but there is not such a strong momentum anymore, it’s much more conservative and our generation of architects are now leaving and spreading their wings outside Holland Perhaps the most important difference between MVRDV’s density and the density of pure economy is the differentiation and variety you inject by “mixing functions and integrating differences”. This might find its expression in the collaging of a building’s façade system, perhaps covering a residential complex itself housing a variety of different apartment types, or the daring hybridization of a market hall and an apartment block Why do you think it is that these denser situations result in a higher quality of life and better built environments? Variety can really make cities more attractive and therefore more sustainable because they last longer and work better. If you look at the most attractive neighbourhoods they are almost always where you have a mixture of working and living, flexibility and use; places like Soho, New York and in some districts of Amsterdam. The buildings have the ability to change from residential to commercial and remain attractive while single purpose districts often fall out of fashion. This is why we aim to mix functions, but it’s not always possible. There are all sorts of regulations to do with sound, zoning and so on. A lot of people get obnoxious and can make things really impossible, as bylaws and regulations accumulate and often remain long after they cease to be useful. It could be part of an architect’s role to challenge these ridiculous constraints, to hold a up mirror to society and show alternatives for the future. Holland has a reputation for accepting such reforms, we’re quite hands on but also as a country it’s really quite dense. It means that every place is used for something – you can’t move something without making space. MVRDV are a particularly Dutch phenomenon but you have many projects all over the world, particularly in Asia. How have you found working in distant locations for people with different customs? Is there anywhere in particular where you found a natural affinity for your ideas of density or adaptation and conservation of landscape? You have to be careful when thinking and talking about a Dutch national identity but there might be a certain mental attitude linked to Holland. This way of thinking can be exported, it doesn’t really matter where. We can work in Europe and build projects in Japan. They might look different but they’re all part of the same body of work and deal with issues in a similar way. We are always curious what kind of building a foreign project will produce, we’re not obsessed with a
certain aesthetic or signature so each one can yield a very different outcome. Every architect works with context but we’re not critical regionalists – we’re critical non-regionalists. It would be boring to work with just one type of material or a certain shape. It sounds optimistic but we take it as it comes, it’s open minded I think. Every architect works with context but we’re not critical regionalists – we’re critical non-regionalists…It would be boring to work with just a one type of material or a certain shape. At the moment, due to urbanisation and emerging global economies, there seems to be much greater building opportunities outside Europe. However, as fuel prices rise and we are forced to adapt to the effects of climate change, it is credible to imagine major restructuring and rebuilding in Europe too. Do you see Logroño Montecorvo Eco City as an early sign of a desire for such restructuring? I think any building boom is over now, at least for a while and the population of Europe isn’t growing so much anymore. Instead, people are questioning how can we make sustainable cities but not directly in one way, that they are functioning well and on the other hand that they are not too much polluting. This example in Spain is interesting because there we’re trying to make an energy neutral, eco-neutral and CO2-neutral neighborhood. So that the energy the people who live there use, they also produce on site. It’s quite complicated as it’s a rather small plot but it’s important to show that such self-sufficiency is possible. Due to the population and construction boom in Spain the firm was able to continue their interests and research and apply their innovativeness towards the realm of social housing. In the small city of Madrid the firm was given two plots of land to explore the social interactions between inhabitants while designing an architectural space that separates itself from the mundane nature of the housing blocks in Madrid. What you came up with were two very successful projects, El Mirador and Celosia that begin to talk about the problems with existent social housing.
Sanchinarro, Madrid Spain
2005 SOCIAL HOUSING IN MADRID
The problem with social housing in Madrid becomes the banality of the six storey apartment block. With the recruitment of the EMVT comes the escape from the apartment block in the northeastern tip of Sanchinarro. With their normative exploration of shifted and stacked spaces they continue their research interests with these two proposals of social housing. The first proposal for the social housing in Spain flips the normal six story office block to create a series of vertical neighborhoods that presents itself as a series of nine superblocks. Each containing 165 apartments for different life styles and offer the residents high standards in terms of habitable space, natural light, panoramic views and comfort of fixtures.
The emphasis spatially is placed in the center of the project in the form a a void that becomes a communal viewing platform that frames the Guadarrama Mountains. The social agenda relies on the inhabitants to utilize this sky plaza and transforming it into a readily used community space. The inhabitants of the social housing blocks can enjoy this sky plaza which makes it essentially interactive with the residents to creating a social space instead of the traditional housing block that has began to penetrate all corners of the city in a result similar to the suburban sprawl. The product of this interest becomes the vertical stacked block that provides the area with the urban density that this portion of Madrid now lacks but also creates a series of mini neighborhoods. These mini-neighborhoods reflect the city as a microcosm with the extroverted culture of Spain on display in the blocky Lego reminiscent faรงade which characterizes the different lifestyles the Madrid population.
Sanchinarro, Madrid Spain
CELOSIA 2009 SOCIAL HOUSING IN MADRID
The second social housing project that begins to question the housing block that penetrates numerous streets in Madrid is the second investigation of the social housing block. This architectural strategy that differs with from the first scheme is where the first is reliant on a single void that becomes a sky plaza that acts as a communal space and viewing platform is transformed into a series of voids that interrupts the superblocks on every level. This condition of solid void is arranged in a checkerboard pattern that creates a reading of eight prefabricated concrete boxes. These voids become communal garden spaces where inhabitants living on each floor can come together for social interaction.
The result of the second investigation is a perforated block in which shadow and ventilation compensate in a hope to alleviate the reliance on energy. Celosia, instead of framing a large view to the mountains creates a series of smaller vistas to the surrounding areas. 16
Carabanchel, Madrid Spain
2007 SOCIAL HOUSING IN MADRID
On the outskirts of the city of Madrid in Carabanchel a regeneration of social housing was flourishing due to a rise in the density of people congregating in this area. The innovative social housing project design by Foreign Office Architects established itself in the area as a catalyst for thriving social housing forms that would later be developed in the area. The site consists of a new urban park and a garden on the west and on the north. The Carabanchel 16 housing unit reacts to this condition by positioning the units so views out to these gardens may be available to the residents. The scheme of the building uses an exterior faรงade to conceal the mass of units while regulating the direct rays of the sun with bamboo shutters since the length of the building is oriented to the north and the south. (units oriented east/west)
VIVIENDA 1 D VIVIENDA 2 D VIVIENDA 3 D VIVIENDA 4 D PORTALES NUCLEO COMUNICACIONES
N PLANTA BAJA
TALUD VEGETAL VIVIENDA 2 D VIVIENDA 3 D
N PLANTA BAJO RASANTE
Terraces act as thresholds in between the operable bamboo frames and the units themselves. One of the main objectives of the building was to have a glazed exterior primarily for viewing purposes out into the landscape but also the bamboo faĂ§ade remains uniform when all of the frames are closed. The homogenous faĂ§ade conceals the individual units but when opened provide a rigid inconsistency in the fluidity of the facadesâ€™ surface.
2009 SOCIAL HOUSING IN MADRID
Among the horizon, the whitewashed wind catchers of the Carabanchel 11 social housing complex cascade across the outskirts of Madrid. The luminous glowing rigidity of the complex accommodates its future residents. The metal grates simultaneously provide a radiant contrast to the continuity of the white surfaces within this complex while cultivating the vegetation that will encompass these various surfaces. Towering over the social housing complex are multi-story stacked units that complement the sea of two story units that occupy the landscape that the site exists on.
The interface that the complex creates with the urban fabric allows for an elaborate response to its building context while establishing its own architectural identity within this sector of the city. The modularity of the surfaces created through the roof scape fold up into the facade of the prominent towers. Carabanchel 11 embodies the ideals of a typical social housing unit while distorting the form infrastructurally.
Carabanchel 11 combines a metropolis of 141 two and three-bedroom apartments with four-bedroom family units of 35 different types. The units themselves contain a kitchen, utility rooms, livings rooms and an upstairs bedroom with a terrace looking out onto the abstract roofscapes. The units contain tall Arab based chimneys that intricately circulate the cold air into the units through the process of natural ventilation. The white surfaces accompany the vegetation in cooling this complex in the summer days. As the vegetation climbs the building in the vertical direction, the wind gets caught in these mechanisms in the horizontal direction.
Carabanchel 11 makes a direct connection to the street in the sense that the residents filter and funnel in and out of the complex through narrow passageways. The sidewalk is a threshold into the aparatus of corridors and communal gathering spaces. Tucked within the conglomeration of units are open porticos, concrete surfaces that expand and wrap forming areas where communities can flourish. These open spaces are comprised of criss-crossing broken beams that revitalize the institutionalized nature of tradition public housing projects.
A visual infrastructural skyline is created by the configuration of sliding masses pushing and pulling amongst themselves. Carabanchel 11 social housing unit is an enterprise of innovation and residences that activate the outskirts of the city.
MVRDV El Mirador Works Cited
Archidose. "Mirador." Welcome to the World of Archidose! Archidose. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.archidose.org/Mar05/032105.html>. Galinsky. "Mirador Building Madrid by MVRDV." Galinsky. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/mirador/index.html>. Http://www.mimoa.eu, Mimoa //. "El Mirador De Sanchinarro, Blanca Lle贸 Asociados, MVRDV | Madrid | Spain | MIMOA." MIMOA | Modern Architecture Guide | Contributed, Organised, and Mapped by You. MIMOA. Web. 09 May 2010. <http://www.mimoa.eu/projects/Spain/Madrid/El%20Mirador%20de%20Sanchinarro>. MVRDV. "El Mirador." MVRDV. MVRDV. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.mvrdv.nl/#/projects/housing/178mirador>.
MVRDV Celosia Works Cited
Bentzen, Thomas. "Celosia A New Building by MVRDV." Archicentral. 05 Nov. 2008. Web. "Celosia Building / MVRDV with Blanca Lle贸 | ArchDaily." ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide. ArchDaily. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.archdaily.com/29637/celosia-building-mvrdv-with-blanca-lleo/>. "Dezeen 禄 Blog Archive 禄 Celosia Residence by MVRDV and Blanca Lle贸." Dezeen Architecture and Design Magazine. Dezeen. Web. 09 May 2010. <http://www.dezeen.com/2009/07/16/celosia-residence-by-mvrdv-and-blanca-lleo/>. K, David. "Celosia Residence." Mood: Architecture + Design + Interior. 22 Sept. 2009. Web. 9 May 2010. "MVRDV Celosia Residence." Weblog post. Archipreneur. 14 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://archipreneur.blogspot.com/2009/10/mvrdv-celosia-residence.html>.
FOA Carabanchel 16 Works Cited
"Carabanchel 16, Public Housing Development, Madrid." Design Build Network. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/carabanchel/>. "Carabanchel Housing by FOA." Weblog post. Wallpaper. 22 Aug. 2007. Web. 8 May 2010. <http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/carabanchel-housing-by-foa/1673>. Foreign Office Architects. "Carabanchel Social Housing." Foreign Office Architects Official Site. 2008. Web. 8 May 2010. <http://www.f-o-a.net/#/projects/509>. Saieh, Nico. "Carabanchel Housing / Foreign Office Architects | ArchDaily." Web log post. ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide. Arch Daily, 30 May 2008. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.archdaily.com/1580/caranbachel-housing-foreign-office-architects/>.
Morphosis Carabanchel 11 Works Cited "Carabanchel 11, Public Housing Development, Madrid." Design Build Network. Designbuild-network.com. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/Morphosis/>. "Carabanchel 11, Public Housing Development, Morphosis with B+DU Estudio De Arquitectura on Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/giacomobecks/2668848206/>. "Morphosis - Madrid Social Housing : Arcspace.com." Architecture Online - Arcspace Is an Architecture and Design Magazine That Features Today's Most Creative Projects as Well as the Most Influential of the Past. 13 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.arcspace.com/architects/morphosis/msh/msh.html>.
Recreation of 'el croquis' magazine for a social housing project with Bianca Tulloch [This document is NOT for commercial use, it was simply...