100 Social Housing EMVS

Vallecas, Madrid · Spain


Silex is an extremely hard but very brittle mineral that tends to break into aristocratic fragments. Vallecas was always very rich in silex (flint) and in gypsum extracted from its quarries, being the main supplier for Madrid in Martínez de la Riva street, which at that time was known as the “road of the gypsum workers”. Here is the origin of this social housing project.

Following this tradition, the project wants to evoke the edges, the colours, the textures, the shadows of the large blocks of stonework piled up and displaced, carving the building and propitiating a rhythmic façade. The characteristic edges of the flint and the texture and colour of the plaster evoked in the façade create a play of light and shadow.

Housing development in Madrid - Gallardo Llopis Architects


The urban plan of the Colonias de Puente de Vallecas proposes a volume of 12m of buildable depth, with a porticoed ground floor and 8 heights plus a penthouse.

A first design strategy for this social housing project in Madrid, was choosing to increase the building depth, going from 12m to 16m, and to locate dwellings on the ground floor, thus eliminating the attics.

In addition, there is a break in the corners on the ground floor that produces an extension of the urban space in the main façade under the cantilever, managing to integrate it into the neighbourhood.


The volume is adapted to the topography, creating a semi-basement for the car park. In addition, some landscaped spaces provide privacy to the housings in ground floor.

There is a continuous eave on both facades as passive solar protection. This prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating in summer but not in winter.

The storage spaces as well as the galleries of the kitchens are incorporated to the eaves space that give a greater thermal inertia to the enclosure.

Housing development in Madrid - Gallardo Llopis Architects

Housing development in Madrid - Gallardo Llopis Architects

The façade of this social housing block in the outskirts of Madrid is designed with thermal insulation on the outside in order to have a greater insulation as it takes advantage of all the inertia of the enclosure that remains inside and avoids thermal bridges. This reduces the energy consumption throughout the year, as it requires less heating in winter and air conditioning in summer.

The storage spaces are located on the façade, increasing the thermal inertia of the façade, while the glazed cloths recede from the façade line, functioning as a eave that allows the entry of sun rays in winter, but not in summer.

Following the rhythm of the façade, perforated sheets are proposed in the manner of glazes, generating a dialogue with the exterior; at night the interior lights are projected, while during the day they allow light to enter.

Housing development in Madrid - Gallardo Llopis Architects