Project description by Peris + Toral Arquitectes

The desire to obtain homes that do not require an active heating or cooling system has conditioned the entire proposal. From the orientation of the building to the construction system.

The construction system of load-bearing walls with 20cm thick compacted earth blocks (BTC) with a density of about 2000kg/m3 offers a lot of inertia, a sufficient mass to solve the acoustics between neighbors with a single sheet, and a low footprint of carbon. In addition, the clays give it a hygrothermal behavior that allows regulation of the humidity of the environment.

Social Housing in Ibiza by Peris+Toral Arquitectes. Photograph by Jose Hevia.

In a heterogeneous environment without a very defined urban fabric, the proposal prioritizes sunlight and orientation to the sea to find the prevailing winds of the Embat during the day and the Terral at night.

Three aggregation units of up to four homes per landing, organized around a patio, allow all typologies to face south and have cross ventilation. It is a high-density proposal, which concentrates the building in one piece, whose scale dialogues with the surrounding buildings. But, at the same time, it acquires a smaller grain of setbacks, in keeping with the volume of the neighboring single-family homes, through discontinuities that favor the use of roof terraces as terraces or green roofs.

The result is an articulated volumetry, of variable depth and height, which multiplies the number of corners –vortices– of the building to increase the speed of the air. This solution improves ventilation in a climate like that of Ibiza, with mild winters, in which the behavior of the building in summer is of particular concern.

Social Housing in Ibiza by Peris+Toral Arquitectes. Photograph by Jose Hevia.

The project proposes a system of interconnecting rooms in a staggered fashion, inserted between the main load-bearing and interlocking walls so that the structure shapes the space. The system does not distinguish between the aggregation and the housing units but values the room as a spatial and project unit. Each 4mx3m module consists of 12 m2 of surface, regardless of use.

The units consist of between four and six modules, responding to a social housing program of one, two, and three bedrooms. The rest of the compartmentalization, as well as the doors and carpentry, are made of larch wood that contrasts with the rawness of the earth. The arrangement of the kitchen-dining room in the center of the house, as a distributor module, eliminates corridors and makes domestic work visible, avoiding gender roles. To achieve flexibility and adaptability, the surfaces are redistributed, so that the living room gives space to the rest of the rooms until it equalizes them, eliminating the hegemony of the living room, to optimize the plan and obtain its maximum performance.

In order to reduce energy demand, both in winter and summer, there is a roof over the patio that works as an atrium in winter and as a solar chimney in summer. In winter, the building becomes compact and captures heat through the galleries and atriums and is sheltered with a cork ETICS to avoid thermal bridges and infiltrations. The inertia allows us to keep the heat during the night. However, in summer the atrium is opened and the solar protections are deployed to increase the form factor of the building, allowing it to dissipate heat and increasing the speed of the air to improve the thermal sensation and comfort.

Social Housing in Ibiza by Peris+Toral Arquitectes. Photograph by Jose Hevia.

The atrium is not only an environmental sustainability strategy, but also a social one, as it brings together circulations and community spaces to foster the social relations that build the community. An access passage that connects the three lobbies articulates the gradient of intermediate spaces between the street and the community patios.

The use of the same materials, larch wood, clay plaster, and terrazzo flooring in situ, both in the home and in the community spaces, fosters a perception of continuity, so that “everything is home”, inviting to live in the community. Thus, the building has a wide spectrum of intermediate spaces, from the most private, galleries, terraces, and gardens on the ground floor, to those that acquire a common dimension, the access passage, the atriums, and the green roofs.

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Marta Peris