36 Houses in Mlaga

Competition for Young Architects J5 | Special Mention

Mlaga. Spain | 2004

Junta de Andaluca

A house: a palace. The famous Le Corbusier quote is the starting point for a project which endows the modest residence with privileges based not on material ostentation, but rather in conceptual architectural order. Starting with the idea to recapture the essence of traditional Mediterranean houses, a home built surrounding a nucleus or fragment of personalized nature is designed. This approach transforms the thirty-six houses into as many small palaces, each with a patio.

The home-patio is based on the combination of several square modules with five meter sides. Each module can fit two bedrooms with their respective bathrooms, a family-dining-kitchen unit, a small garden or a parking place. On this functional and volumetric basis, the modules make up different types of homes as if they were the pieces of a puzzle or tangram. 

As in the traditional Mediterranean home, the relation between the exterior and the interior is enabled not through openings or windows, but rather through a patio. It is a place within the house that condenses all traffic, given that its different rooms, divided into private bedrooms and common areas, directly communicate through this space. This way, the patios separate physically but not virtually the interior from the exterior, as well as the different parts of the house. Additionally, thanks to this patio, each home becomes an hortus conclusus where each inhabitant can carry out numerous activities. 

In the whole scale, a three-dimensional grid expandable to the entire plot is formed, which behaves independently with regard to the irregular outline. And as if it were a checkerboard, a dense a compact body is built, a complex neighborhood of houses that reproduces the magical interior spaces of the most evocative Mediterranean towns.

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