Carnicero Wins COAM Award

Building main facade

Iñaqui Carnicero's award-winning social housing project in Madrid. photo / provided

October 31, 2013

Iñaqui Carnicero, visiting assistant professor of architecture, was recently given the 2013 Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid (COAM) award for his social housing project in Vallecas, Madrid.

Carnicero's project, sited in a newly built area of Vallecas, had to meet specific neighborhood planning requirements including defined setbacks for attics, the site's unique corner setting, and specific building heights. The final project also needed to stand apart from the homogeneous structures currently in place in the neighborhood.

"To prevent our building from falling victim to the somewhat monotonous surroundings, we took the generic shape that was given as a constraint and used it as a starting point for the design," says Carnicero. "We capitalized on the corner chamfer, repeating it multiple times throughout the building, and using it as an organizational approach. By subtracting three chunks of the maximum volume dictated by the building regulations, we were able to create common spaces to promote gathering between residents."

Consisting of 34 apartments including penthouses, the internal structure features a cluster of three living units per section instead of the typical arrangement of symmetrical apartments on either side of a hallway.

Carnicero says, "The intense green color we chose for various areas of the building was inspired by an adjacent neighbor. It helps our building become a defining corner piece that completes and connects the entire perimeter block."

For more than 30 years the COAM award has recognized the work of important figures in the Spanish architectural scene including Iñaki Abalos, Anton García-Abril, Juan Herreos, and Rafael Moneo.

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