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A collective housing PERSPECTIVE of some concentrates from 20th and 21st century and a PROSPECTIVE with arguments for 21st century 


Under this heading different research experiences of the twentieth and twenty first centuries are gathered in terms of collective housing that were developed in the ambiguous exploratory territory between theory and discipline. They constitute true tactical patterns, inventories of ways of doing that are the result of collectively generated wisdom. They materialize the perfect coexistence of being and doing, which rests in each of the materializations that are brought here and that we now distinguish as paradigms.


These experiences are observed from the watchtower of the present with the purpose of extracting indications for the collective dwelling that today is inhabited and on which one wishes to investigate. The immanent of these projects and processes of the past are filtered with the sieve of social, cultural, political and economic reality of today to elaborate an own plot territory that focuses on the persistence of dwelling.


These architectures are conceived as transmitters of knowledge, like constructed manuals that are returned time and time again with the hope of gathering the data that help to understand the recurrent dynamics around the collective habitat, always focused on the production of a space of reference in which individual identities, while retaining their autonomy, can find correspondence.


The research concentrates presented here include the foundations of knowledge and action that are perpetuated in the cyclical process of sedimentation of the know-how that is to project, build and inhabit collective housing.


In the prospective section we will investigate new lines of argument to find out the question of what and how domestic space of 21st century should be.


Interests fields of contemporary housing focus on values that directly or tangentially have to do with the understanding of the house and its extensions as "urban mother cell" that is, everything local and apparently restricted to domestic scale influences and it is influenced by the urban / territorial context that contains it.


It is understood that, as a society, a better environment can be made from domestic space, with more light, more ventilation or an optimal spatial performance. It is also thought that ignorance, cultural habits, inability to access funding or the right professionals should not be obstacles for any user to enjoy a place suited to their housing needs.



Case Studies Coursework


The Housing Theory module is proposed as a journey through two parallel itineraries that are displayed simultaneously:


In the first of them, explained by the professors, are exposed cases and exemplary events around collective housing in Europe in 20th and 21st century that are framed in their historical, economic, political and social context. They have been grouped around theoretical foci such as the construction of urban fabric through the grouping of housing cells, the interrelation between housing and needs, the analysis of typological issues, the search for communities, the depth of technological issues, or the questions of pure identity.


The second, assigned to students, deals with contemporary projects, made in the 21st century, selected as examples that put into practice the accumulated experience of almost a century of history of project about inhabiting collectively.


The crossing of these two itineraries is the moment of maximum interest: confluence of contents that favors cross reflection between teachers and students, transversal thinking in the approach of concepts, interrelation of ideas and discourses in the methodology to the collective housing project.


The case study work will have the format of a small research work that will let to know a project of collective housing from 21st century. It will be done by pairs and will analyze one of the listed projects below, in a fixed format. In this way all analytical studies can be easily compared. Each group will accumulate documentation (drawings, films, photomontages, or texts and critiques) and analyze them focus on five scales and points of view:

- Historical and Cultural Context. 15 photographs with its correspondent captions

- Urban. Scale 1/4500. Morphology, construction of urban fabric and volume

- Block. Scale 1/300. Access system, collective spaces and thresholds interior-exterior

- Cell Unit. Scale 1/100. Organization of the dwelling, spatially and functionally

- Construction. Scale 1/50. Technology used in the facade.


The analysis, done through the aforementioned drawings, will be explained in an additional text of 2.000 words that will include maps and diagrams.


The way of presenting the research is mainly based on redrawing the project to understand it as deep as possible. We will use the technique developed by GICVO in their CVI (Cuadernos de Vivienda) that it will be given to the students the first day.


Case Studies 

  1. VM Houses. BIG. Copenhagen, Denmark. 2007.
  2. Bosco Verticale. Boerti Studio. Milan, Italy. 2014
  3. Kalbreite. Müller Sigrist Architekten. Zürich, Switzerland. 2014.
  4. W57. BIG. New York, USA. 2015.
  5. Timmerhuis. OMA. Rotterdam, Netherlands. 2015.
  6. Grand Parc. Lacaton & Vassal, Druto, Hutin. Bordeaux, France. 2016.
  7. Dwellings and Gymnasium. AAVP. Paris, France. 2016.
  8. The Silo. Cobe Architects. Copenhagen, Denmark. 2017.
  9. Montmartre Housing. Atelier Kempe Thill. Paris, France. 2017.
  10. Future Towers. MVRDV. Pune, India. 2018.
  11. Terrassenhaus. Brandlhuber+Emde, Burlon y Muck Petzet. Berlin, Germany. 2018.
  12. Niwa. Kengo Kuma. Vanves, France. 2019.






Thursday, 21.03.2019

15.30 - 17:00 Carmen Espegel. Introduction to the Course

17.00 - 18:00 Peter Ebner. Housing+Urban

18.30 - 19.00 Break

19.30 - 20.30 Peter Ebner. Housing+Needs


Friday, 22.03.2019

15.30 - 16:30 Peter Ebner. Housing+Typologie

16.30 - 17.00 Debate

17.00 - 17.30 Break

17.30 - 19.00 Carmen Espegel. Housing+Typologie. Maison Clarté

19.00 - 20.30 Debate Peter Ebner+Carmen Espegel


Friday, 29.03.2019

15.00 - 17.30 Carmen Espegel. Housing+Urban: Casa de las Flores versus Casa Bloc. Visit to Casa de las Flores.

17.30 - 18.00 Break to arrive at ETSAM

18.30 - 19.30 Carmen Espegel. Casa Bloc Barcelona

19.30 - 20.30 First presentation of case studies: bibliography and first drawings.


Friday, 05.04.2019

15.30 - 17:00 Carmen Espegel. Housing+Commons. Frankfurt am Main.

17.00 - 17.30 Break

17.30 - 19.00 Daniel Movilla. Towards the new communist society. The transition house Narkomfin by Ginzburg

19.00 - 20.30 Debate with Daniel Movilla.


Friday, 24.05.2018

15.30 - 17:00 Carmen Espegel. Housing+Technology. L’Unité d’Habitation and Lake Shore Drive

17.00 - 18.30 Carmen Espegel. Housing+Technology. Torres Blancas and Coll del Portell

18:30 - 20.30 Corrections of case studies: Drawings+Texts.


Friday, 31.05.2018

15.30 - 17:00 Carmen Espegel. Housing+Identity. Halenites and Wallenites.

17.00 - 17.30 Break

17:30 - 18:30 Carmen Espegel. Contemporary Housing Exigences

18:30 - 20:30 Final Presentations of case studies.





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a+t, “Housing and Flexibility”, nº8, 1996.


a+t, “Housing and Flexibility”, nº12, 1998.


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