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New housing structures have been created due to the evolution and growth of cities and the use of new technologies applied to construction. That´s the case of collective housing projects, which aims to group many housing units. This new model entails the development of a new way of communal living that demands new areas of domestic and community relationship.


Within this model of collective housing arises the so-called social housing, which we will talk about in the following lines.


What is social housing?

Social housing is one that is rented or sold at prices that are not ruled by the market, but by the economic capacity of interested tenants. In the case of rent, the social housing model can be offered by both private companies and the State itself. This is a model used throughout the entire world that is constantly increasing due to the economic crisis experienced in recent years, which has made this type of housing necessary to correct the poor functioning of the real estate market.


The European average of social housing is 18% and the ideal inhabitants for this type of housing range from students, young couples and families with children to elderly or people with special needs. This housing system is designed to improve the life quality of these citizens and it is necessary to fulfill a series of requirements in order to access this type of rents that vary according to each country.


social housing spain 


Social housing cases

Quinta Monroy

This housing complex is located in Chile. It was designed by Alejandro Aravena and the purpose of the project was to relocate 100 families that had illegally occupied a piece of land in the Chilean desert over the past 30 years. Despite the extra cost of the project, this was carried out to avoid the displacement of these families in areas of the periphery.


vivienda social quinta monroy


Housing Block in Ermengarda Street

This one is placed in a long plot in the Sants-Montjuïc district of Barcelona, a degraded urban environment that is trying to be recovered by the municipality. This block of houses has fields for football and basketball, and one of the corners of the plot is finished with the typical alignment of the chamfer of Barcelona. It was built by the group of architects BCQ Arquitectes and is an example of successful social housing.


vivienda social calle Ermengarda


Social Housing in Bondy

This building by Atelier Dupont Architects Group was designed as a “U” shape around a large landscaped courtyard, allowing the entry of light to the entire complex and thus avoiding the need for extra electricity consumption by tenants. The houses have a gabled roof and their balconies are organized in the facade to reduce the shadows projection to the house above.


vivienda social bondy



In addition to these three examples, we can find other projects designed by MCH Professors such as the Housing Development Brunnenhof in Zurich (Gigon / Guyer Architekten), the Mirador de Sanchinarro in Madrid (MVRDV + Blanca Lleó), the Mulhouse Social housing in France (Lacaton & Vassal), the 81 housing units in Carabanchel, Madrid (Amann Canovas Maruri), the 23 VPO Realojo in Embajadores street in Madrid (Espegel-Fisac Arquitectos) or the Wohn- und Gewerbesiedlung Kalkbreite in Zurich (Muller Sigrist).


If you want to learn more about social and collective housing, do not hesitate to be part of our Master of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing. 


Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

The Master of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing is a postgraduate full-time international professional program offered by Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).  Next edition of the MCH begins in January 2019, and the application period is opened till 31.12.2018. Apply Now!
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