The competition s brief was launched for the construction of 52 social flats in two blocks on a site in the popular neighbourhood of Covadonga. The plot overlooks and impressive view of the city and the valley of river Miño.
From the beginning the intention of the scheme was to optimize the quality of the residential space designing flats with double façade and access through open galleries. The internal flat distribution explores a flexible configuration, with sliding panels between rooms, to allow the residents to organize their own room space.
The structure of both blocks is conceived to pursue this aim; double concrete beams span over 9.5 m length, the complete width and depth of the units, avoiding any internal bearing structure within.
The installations run in a compact package in service spines between units.
The project maintains an important compromise with a sustainable design and construction. The rain water is filtered and reused for the toilet flush (up to 40%) of every single unit. The used waters are destined to the watering of the garden area around the two building blocks.
The proposal also aims to have minimum energy consumption, creating an extremely efficient insulation construction with minimum heat loss in the harsh winter conditions and natural ventilation for the cool summer of Ourense. The green house effect, quite important during the sunny days is diminished by small parasols in the windows. The upper part of the building is destined for a small energy generation plant with solar thermal and photovoltaic panels as well as micro wind turbines. The combined cycle generates up to 70% of the energy used by the building.