68 Social Housing in Zaragoza


The project developes a residential program of state subsidized housing in a building leveled in three sections in order to adapt it to the slope of the terrain. The location and the longitudinal dimension configure a peripheral urban building that responds in a distinctive way to the conditions of the environment. The orientation of the building supports the idea of contrast between the Northern closed exterior and the uneven and open to the South interior.

The housing units participate in this double orientation, with the bedrooms to the North and the daytime rooms towards the South, facing the garden space. The bathrooms ocupy a central position that allows a double circulation around them, as well as the extension of the lines of sight in the housing, giving a sensation of openess despite its reduced surface.

On the exterior the building presents a closed configuration that seeks a discreet integration within the immediate environment. These façades follow the regulated alignements and are configured from the repetition in series of the openings. The fencings are built with white bricks and the base on the ground floor is made of prefabricated concrete panels.

In the interior space the building is characterized by some uneven walls defined by a poligonal. The seen structure with concrete slabs and panels configures a middle space between the housing and the exterior in front of the daytime rooms. The fencings of these spaces and doorways are characterized by its finishing with black stony mono-coating. The different directives of the façade and the variable positions of the sliding aluminium panels give movement to the façade and a changing aspect throughout the day.

Technical sheet

Location: Biescas street 15-29. Zaragoza, Spain.

Architects: Magen Arquitectos

Developer: Sociedad Municipal Zaragoza Vivienda

Construction: Construcciones Galve y Gil

Photographs: Roland Halbe

Competition: 2002

Project: 2003

Works: 2004-2006

Area: 8.397 m2


Ugo Rivolta European Architecture Award. Finalist. 2009.

Bauwelt Preis 2007. 1st Prize Wohnungsbau. 2007.

I Biennial Young Spanish Architects Arquía/Próxima 2006/2007. Selected Catalogue. 2008.

XXII Prize Aragon Institute of Architects «Fernando García Mercadal». Accesit. 2007.

XXVII Prize «Ricardo Magdalena». Province Government of Zaragoza. Accesit. 2007.

IV Awards 3 de Abril of Architecture and Urbanism. Finalist. 2007.

IX Prize Aragon Institute of Architects about Accesibility 2006. First Prize Recent Building. 2006.

National Ideas Competition about present and future on Spanish Social Housing. Seleected. Constructed buildings in five last years. 2003.

2º prize in Ideas Competition, 2002.


Latest appartment buildings.  Hi-Design building books. 2012.

UED Magazine, nº 50. 2011

Arch-Manual 4. Design-Concept-Script-Process. Aadcu. 2011

TC Cuadernos- Temas de Arquitectura. nº 13. 2011

Zaragoza 1908-2008. Architecture and Urbanism. 2010

Low cost, low energy, quality architecture. Una nuova stagione per l´housing. 2009.


VPOR2, nº 5, 2009

Vía Construcción, nº 45, junio 2007

BAUWELT CHINA, nº 1, 2007

BAUWELT, nº 1-2/2007

Arquitectura Viva nº 114

Arquitectura COAM, nº 346

A+. Collective Social Housing

Inhabit  the Present, Ed. Ministerio de la Vivienda

25 años de la SMRUZ

Infodomus, Construcción Sostenible, nº 5