Slab, corridorSlab, double-loaded
Palomeras-Av. Alberti
Alfaro, Carlos Ferrán; José Luis Romany Aranda; Fernando Navazo Rivero | Madrid ( Vallecas), Spain | 1980-83
Image of Palomeras-...
Group of slabs with market hall in front

ProjectPalomeras-Av. Alberti
ArchitectAlfaro, Carlos Ferrán; José Luis Romany Aranda; Fernando Navazo Rivero
CityMadrid ( Vallecas)
AddressAv. Palomeras-Av. Alberti
Building TypeSlab, double-loaded
Number of Dwellings1188
Date Built1980-83
Dwelling Types1, 2, & 3 BR flats
No. Floors10
Section TypeFlats
Exterior Finish
brick, concrete, curtain wall, metal windows
Construction TypeRC frame, flat slab
Ancillary Servicesshopping, parking

(See Junquera/Pita, Palomeras-Av.Alberti for a general description of the Palomeras development.) An obvious intention of the Palomeras program was to avoid the stereotyped CIAM-type of community—an urbanism of freestanding towers and slabs. Variety was to be achieved by spreading the work out among different architects working on different sites using different building types. Most of the buildings at Palomeras, however, are still freestanding types—slabs and towers-- that are organized in a loosely defined pattern of perimeter blocks. In this example, however, identical 10-story, ell-shaped, double-loaded slabs are positioned to define the corners of the block while enclosing courtyards on the interior of the blocks, each about 90 x 120m in size. The corners of the ell blocks are chamfered, suggesting Barcelona enschance precedents, however, the tight formation of continuous surface and well-defined public spaces is missing. Shops occupy the ground floor along the street and several other 2-story market buildings are placed between courtyard blocks. The large perimeter blocks are divided into two smaller paved courts on top of a level of parking that are fenced for privacy and security. The superimposition of slab and tower building types—a strategy prevalent at Palomeras—results in a crenelated building form where two bedrooms are placed in the “towers”. At the corners the tower surface forms the corner. A central building lobby at the intersection of the two ells that form the u-shaped slab. and services the double-loaded system that’s also has a stair and elevator at each end. The ends of the ells” don’t quite connect resulting in a gap that forms a monumental gateway through the building. Flats look both to the street and to the courtyard. Each has a small balcony and larger dwellings occupy the corners. The repeating tower form of the exterior creates a deep zone in the façade that lets light into the recessed balconies of each apartment. The structural frame is expressed as a raised frame of brick and a recessed infill panel that has two identical windows each with an integral railing. Panels between towers are treated as fully glazed infill panels. In spite of the lack of preferred dwelling orientation, these buildings are successful at creating a successful urban order.

Arquitectura, May-June, no. 242, pp. 33-37 (Colegio Oficial de las Arquitectos de Madrid)

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