Solar Tower in Sociopólis, Valencia, springs from the same initial drawing as the Porte de la Chapelle project, in an attempt to distance social housing from anonymous iconographies and explore the possibilities of a tower that fragments at its crown, multiplying indoor and outdoor spaces with identities of their own.
As well as guaranteeing sunlight exposure, the height positively promotes cross-ventilation; in Valencia’s sunny and humid climate, this environmental strategy becomes the essential passive strategy. However, financing social housing according to floor area makes environmental strategies based on spaces and intermediate filters almost unfeasible. The most operative strategy—enabling enjoyment of the tower’s panoramic views—is to combine the reduction of heat gain using ventilated reflecting façades with cross-ventilation, designing dwellings oriented in two directions and fully-opening windows with high-performance glass. This construction system, fine-tuned by physical analyses of the building, exploits Valencia’s good weather to obtain an average of 300 days of passive comfort, achieved with minimum environmental impact and maximum exploitation of the physical and landscape characteristics of the high-rise construction. (The completed work obtained the maximum IVE environmental certification.)
The use of reflecting material and a geometry whose curvilinear array increases on its upper finish serve to play with reflections, drawing the eye naturally to the decisive point in any vertical construction.
The project seeks an agreement between the formal objective of giving the dwellings an identity and the performative objective of ensuring comfort and maintenance using passive thermodynamic strategies adapted to the climate and the economy, bypassing both “social” and “environmental” figurations.