Canónigos Cohousing

Canónigos Cohousing

Architect
Romero Vallejo
Location
Toledo, Spain | View Map
Project Year
2007
Category
Housing
Juan Carlos Quindós

Canónigos Cohousing

Romero Vallejo as Architects

This apartment complex was commissioned by a group of young people, who, faced with inflated prices, limited variety, and poor quality of housing available during the years of the Spanish property crisis, decided to develop their own communal housing project.

 

The challenge:
How to deal with an extremely narrow and long plot [8.5 x 41 m] where only the shortest side faces the street? How could we fit 6 dwellings in a plot when it was previously occupied by only one?

 

Those were the first questions we asked ourselves when we received the commission to build this complex. To further complicate things, we wanted to provide all the apartments with their own private outside space.

 

The Proposal
We decided to divide the plot into apartments and outdoor spaces. We designed a long outdoor corridor that was orientated towards the sun, and that would bring light, ventilation, and a beautiful view of the sunset to the apartments. We designed it with a green path, and in the common outdoor area we made it so everyone would also have a private patio.

 

We chose a variety of colorful plants that would change with the seasons to create a sense of life and renewal for the occupants as the year goes by.

 

Although our apartment complex was a modern addition to an older neighborhood, we designed it to aesthetically fit in to its surroundings by taking into account the appearance of the nearby homes and allowing them to influence our design. For example, while we added a large modern window in the entryway that allows visual access to the green walkway and porch areas, we stayed true to the aesthetic design of the neighborhood by adopting a ceramic tile roof. We also stay rhythmically in step with the ¨multiple window street facing facade¨ that is popular in this area by adding windows to the second floor of the apartment that faces the street.

 

One element of nuance we incorporated into our design was a pattern of rectangular recesses placed at intervals along the facade of the entire building that cater to each apartment. We designed the recesses to allow private views of the apartment owners´ patio and garden spaces. Instead of having a one directional view from their homes, this design allows tenants 3 different perspectives from their home.

 

At the interior, the furnishings include contemporary pieces designed by Romero & Vallejo and produce by local craftsmen, such as the lattices, the ceramic tiles, the library, the starecase, ecc, combined with classic designs such as the Polder sofa from Vitra designed by Hella Jongerius, the Chair Eames Plastic DSW from Vitra, the Ou d’en Sandy lamp by Antoni Arola for Metalarte and the Butterfly Chair.

 

Material Used :
1. Lattice, library, starecase: Local craftsman
2. Ceramic tiles: Local ceramic craftsman
3. Sofa: Polder sofa from Vitra by Hella Jongerius designer
4. Chair: Eames Plastic DSW from Vitra
5. Frank Gehry chair in cardboard from Vitra
6. Butterfly chair, BKF
7. Ou d'en Sandy Lamp by Antoni Arola for Metalarte

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