The project cannot be approached without relating it to the nearest urban context, the urban center of Seville, and by extension, with the culture, architecture and society of the city itself. The aim is to be part of this consolidated urban context, adding value and without absorbing prominence in relation to the rest of the neighbourhood.
In this way, the problems that arise during the project phase are resolved from the study of all the examples at our disposal: the courtyards, the streets, the vegetation, the materials, even the way in which people relate to architecture … everything has its origin and response within the city itself.
Traditional and everyday solutions are applied to solve the comfort of dwellings (such as the contribution of shade, the use of cross ventilation, vegetation as a climate sieve, the use of wood as a constructive element …) to the detriment of other technological solutions more efficient in the short term but with expiration date in an area as warm as Sevilla, with the particularity of the humidity that the Guadalquivir river brings with its presence in the city.
The plot is located in the northern area of Sevilla, bordering the central district, in a diverse neighbourhood regarding building typologies. In this case, it is a plot between dividing walls in a block that breaks with the consolidated type of apartment block present in the buildings around it.
The building volume arises from the strict application of the urban planning parameters of the General Plan of Sevilla for the case of dwellings in a closed block. In this case we start from the ideal maximum volume and after taking the mark of the 80% occupancy allowed and the maximum of 5 heights above ground, we generated the general envelope of the project. The decision to take full advantage of the south facade of the plot creates a volume turned towards the street and leaves the back of the plot for vertical communications and circulations.
A very marked cut is made based on a programmatic band that divides the building in two. This vertebral element of the floor plan and of the general volumetry, brings together the structure, the communications, the installation skids, the wet cores and the domestic spaces, packed for the purpose to actively participate in the emptying of the rest of the plant to provide as much flexibility as possible.
One of the main characteristics of the building’s own construction will be its CLT counter-laminated wood structure, which will be a fundamental part in the interior design of the dwelling. The virtues of this type of construction are dry joints, fast, aesthetic, economical in its prefabrication and its durability.
The lightness of the structure formed by CLT panels allows the foundation to be resolved using a simple concrete slab, without requiring large earthworks or deep excavations.
One of the most important features in the building are the roofed terraces of the dwellings, facing south. The aim of this resource is to enhance the concept of outdoor living space, so typical of a city with a climate like Sevilla. All terraces have the capacity to install vegetation lines that provide freshness, privacy and a feeling of escape from the city that enhance relaxation and recreation and improve the life quality of users. This vegetal element in dwellings reduces the building’s energy consumption.
In addition, the building have common spaces for neighbours. These spaces claim life and common relations between the different users of the building, using spaces that historically were relegated to the background, for facilities or exclusively for maintenance, such as decks or the passage on the ground floor with bikes parking.
As an active protection element, the building presents some blind type elements that will provide privacy and solar control to the south facade. These blinds, those of wood, those of rope, those of a lifetime, behave adequately against the heat and are accompanied by double glazed windows. To maintain comfort against heat, wooden blinds are considered the most suitable because it is an insulating material and allows reducing the incidence of direct sun on the windows.