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Social Housing by Zigzag Arquitectura, Spain

Material, colour and form permit this particular revision of social housing to make an impression

Taking a generic courtyard block, which is then ruptured and reassembled, this scheme for social housing in Mieres, northern Spain, is a thoughtful reworking of an urban archetype. Defining a street edge and central courtyard, the block occupies the same footprint as a conventional orthogonal one, but the fragmented structure generates a multi-faceted composition of irregularly stacked forms.

A shifting, angular geometry of canted roof planes adds a further layer of convolution and interest. The block resembles a geode, its dull outer layer of metal cladding fractured and split to reveal a sensual, shimmering core of ribbed timber screens, glass walls and a landscaped courtyard. The jury admired how the adept use of materials and fragmentation of form humanises what could otherwise have been yet another large and anonymous residential block.

Architect Zigzag Arquitectura
Photographs Roland Halbe

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