We tried to imagine, all of us together, a dwelling in which we would like to live. Bright and open to meet with friends, some of us said, intimate and in semidarkness, the laziest ones replied. A dwelling with multiple personality. One that would be able to react to the changing seasons. One that would open itself to two different environments; on one side a street belonging to a new urban development, but next to the urban life of Vallecas Village, and on the other side, the bounded and safe block courtyard.
As a result, we designed a cross-ventilated dwelling divided in two very different areas; one static collection of spaces, devoted to private and intimate functions, and another dynamic one, devoted to social life. This last space, the one where family and close social life happens, is able to transform itself into an open terrace whenever the sun is shining and it feels like being outside by opening two big sliding windows that leave no mullion in the corner. This double use lets the inhabitants of the always too small social dwellings enjoy a big terrace in summer and a big living-room in winter.
Another big bet of the project was to enhance communal life taking great care of the common spaces and interconnecting them visually in order to multiply encounters between dwellers. The usually closed stairs and dark accesses from the elevators to the dwellings, have been opened and day-lit. The stairs cantilever into the courtyard facing the south, making them a good place to chat with a neighbor, or just to say hello as you walk into your own private space. The courtyard is the center of the common life of the building, with spaces for children and a long bending bench strategically placed just on the side of the busiest area on the ground floor.