Row houseSlab, point-access
Junquera, Jeronimo & Estanislao Perez-Pita | Madrid (Vallecas), Spain | 1980-82
Image of Palomeras-...
View of two slab/towers along Ave. los Andaluces.

ArchitectJunquera, Jeronimo & Estanislao Perez-Pita
CityMadrid (Vallecas)
AddressAv. Ralphael Alberti/Av. los Andaluces
Building TypeRow house
Slab, point-access
Number of Dwellings805
Date Built1980-82
Dwelling Types2 & 3 BRE flats; 2 BR rowhouses
No. Floors14
Section Typeflats & individual access rowhouses
Exterior Finish
Brick, plaster, concrete, metal windows
Construction TypeR-C frame
Ancillary Servicesparking and shopping

Palomeras is a new community at the southeast perimeter of Madrid that replaces a former barrio in the Vallecas quarter of the city. The plan to rebuild Vallecas was begun in 1979 in an area of about 800 acres designed to house 34,000 families initially and 12,000 families more in a later stage of development. So far, (at the time of this writing) about 10,000 dwellings have been completed. Palomeras is divided into three sectors: one north and one south of Avenida de la Albufera, the old road to central Madrid, and the largest sector terminating this street on a bluff overlooking the valley below. Construction is continuing in all three sectors and includes, in addition to housing, shopping, schools, and other community facilities. A new public agency--Empresa Municipal de Vivienda y Suelo (EMVS)--was created to administer Palomeras that had broad powers to purchase land and provide the planning infrastructure and financing to make Palomeras possible. A goal in the planning of was to achieve much greater density and improved quality of life than the barrios which it replaced (queremos casas y no mas barrio), but to do this without the stereotyped repetitive modernist buildings that had come to typify so much Post-CIAM building in Europe.

The Junuquera/Pita buildings are in the southeast sector of Palomeras and, at 14 floors, are some of the tallest buildings here. Conceived as a superimposition of a horizontal slab and vertical tower, the buildings like most of Palomeras, are a constructed of a concrete frame clad in brick. The slab reading is reinforced by linear zoning in the typical plans and by the recessed balcony zones that occur approximately at the 3rd points of the facades that are rendered in white plaster. The tower building can be seen in the plan where there are separate entrance lobbies, elevators and stairs by the recessed vertical zones between building segments and by the fact that the tower heights vary as the building steps across the sloping site. A continuous three-story building containing maisonettes above shops is placed parallel to the large slabs. The structural frame connects the two buildings at the third floor forming a thick arbor over the paved area between buildings that functions as a plaza for the shops at the ground floor in each building. The plaza area occurs on several levels connected by wide stairs as the buildings terrace with the slope. The shops seem like a good idea to both enhance dwelling privacy and provide immediate shopping opportunities, however, they seem to be marginal businesses and an unkempt plaza is the result. While the formal strategy to provide both slab and tower interpretations are successful as an attempt to design conventional slabs with a level of architectural interest, in the final analysis they are quite meaningless both as a reflection of the interior order of the building or as a developed architectonic expression; why are these zones expressed in what is a building of repetitive dwellings and floors? Photos 1988

Arquitectura, May-June, 1983, No. 242, pp. 29-32 (Colegio official de Arquitectos de Madrid).

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