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Competition: Living the Collective, Spain

The City of Hornachuelos in southern Spain has announced an open international contest for a 5,200m² community-focused, mixed-use development (Deadline: 17 March)

The competition invites proposals for three vacant sites within the hilltop Corboda province city, to deliver new social housing blocks, a retail area with underground parking and a landscaped green space for pedestrians.

The project aims to boost the local economy and promote sustainable development across the city. The winning scheme will be expected to maintain an overall visual unity, creating the impression of a single architectural intervention to observers.

Hornachuelos, Spain

Hornachuelos, Spain

Living the Collective contest site

According to the brief: ‘The contest aims to give a global image to all new constructions, creating a continuity between all of them, focusing especially on giving a good solution to particular plots and the open spaces that are generated.

‘The proposal, despite having to comply with the current regulations, should have a reflection of future guidelines for the growth of the municipality in a sustainable way, involving urban, social and environmental improvements in the global scale of Hornachuelos.’

Hornachuelos is a small city of 4,600 inhabitants, located on the fringe of the Sierra Morena national park, and known for its proximity to popular natural attractions such as rivers, reservoirs, viewpoints and hiking trails.

The competition, launched by contest organiser reTh!nking, focuses on integrating architecture with landscaping, and promoting natural and functional design synergies. The brief asks participants to consider eight key principles of density, ecology, detail, scale, limit, mobility, nature and housing when developing concepts.

Hornachuelos, Spain

Hornachuelos, Spain

Living the Collective contest site

The city intends to directly commission one of the winning teams to deliver the housing, commercial spaces and underground parking. A flexible budget of €70,000 has already been put aside for the landscaped green space.

Entries must include one A1 panel featuring images of proposals and one A3 page containing a 300-word summary and details of the budget. The competition languages are English and Spanish and all submissions should be made in digital jpeg format, with the project title and registration code clearly displayed.

Winning designs will be picked by a four-member jury, including two professional architects, one academic architect and the head of town planning at the City of Hornachuelos.

The overall winner, set to be announced in April, will receive a €3,000 first prize, and there will also be a €1,000 second prize and €500 third prize.

How to apply


The deadline for submissions is 20:00 local time (GMT+1) on 17 March


Early registration from 23 December to 3 February: €40
Regular registration from 4 February to 3 March: €70
Late registration from 4 March to 17 March: €90

Contact details

Calle José Laguillo 27
Bloque 7 Local 1B
Sevilla 41003

Tel: +34 955 54 29 92 / +34 627 706 234

View the competition website for more information

Timberyard Social Housing case study: Q&A with O’Donnell + Tuomey

The Dublin practice discusses lessons learned designing a new 3,800m2 social housing development for their home city

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Source: Image ©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Timberyard social housing by O’Donnell + Tuomey

How did your Timberyard Social Housing project restore Dublin’s urban fabric?

This scheme repairs the local landscape by providing a new collective space, built around a former timber yard, making a residential enclave with a sense of place. The scheme works between the six-storey scale proposed in general along the new Cork Street corridor and the smaller scale of the existing houses behind the site.

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness?

The new buildings are in brick, with hardwood windows and screens to terraces and roof gardens. The windows are offset from each other in the walls to work with the complexity of the residential accommodation within, and to emphasise the continuity of the brick surface. The walls are modulated with recessed porches and terraces and projecting bay windows to give a depth and complexity to the building’s edge and an interface between the private world of the house and the neighbourhood. The development proposes to provide scale, identity and a piece of living city, which connects new development in the area to the historic character of the Liberties.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Source: Image by O’Donnell + Tuomey

Timberyard social housing by O’Donnell + Tuomey