Calles en Altura  “Streets in the air”, is a dwelling project developed for one of the densest neighborhoods of Madrid, Puente de Vallecas. The requested dwellings are strict, the budget is tight, the revenues are limited; the challenge thus is how to find extra space in these conditions that would make it possible to make architecture.

The biggest luxury architecture can offer residences in Puente de Vallecas is space. We create large galleries by shifting the floors of a conventional housing slab outwards, making it possible to have exterior circulation.

The circulation spiraling through the building links all collective programs. The combination of small rational dwellings with wide collective galleries generate new opportunities for living, that we identify as water gardens, herbal gardens, solarium, fitness and guestrooms.

Since all living areas are situated on the gallery side and all gallery facades open widely, residents will consider the circulation space partly as their outdoor space. This feeling will be emphasized by substituting the customary railing with a floor to ceiling net that can support growing plants. Furthermore, the net will provide maximum contact with the surrounding area and thus invite people to use the galleries like streets in the air: sitting in the door openings, eating on the sidewalks.

Location: Madrid, Spain

Program: 100 social dwellings

Year: 2010

Commissioner: Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo

Design Directors: Eric Frijters, Olv Klijn

Team: Bas Driessen, Greta Mozzachiodi, Raúl Benítez Molina, Morgane Monfort, Marie Rannou, Nuria Ripoll, Pieter van Roermund, Iris Wijn


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