the world's most visited architecture website

Arial M6 / Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos

Architects: Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos / Manuel Carbajo Capeans & Celso Barrios Ceide Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain Construction Manager: Enrique Martinez Render: Carlos Pascual Ayestarán – Artquimedia Interior Design: Fatima Amo Lighting: Tokonoma Aditional Support: Santiago Interiores Building Type: Mixed Use_Residential / Commercial / Office Design year: 2007/2008 Construction year: 2008/2011 Size: 20,000 sqm Project website: Grupo Arial

Arial M6 / Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos Arial M6 / Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos Arial M6 / Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos Arial M6 / Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos

ARIAL M6 is a residential development comprising 78 flats of different characteristics distributed amongst five storeys and an attic along with ground floor premises meant for commercial use and a three-level basement garage. The building concludes with a private area destined for a garden and leisure activities, swimming pool and solarium.

ARIAL M6 is located in the Avenida da Liberdade, the main boulevard within Santa Marta, one of the expansion areas of the city of Santiago de Compostela.

This location allows for an unbound development, with wide spaces and limitless surrounding views, both in its front façade towards the boulevard as well as to the rear façade to which there are not adjacent constructions, but open spaces, greens and sporting facilities.

Architects Manuel Carbajo and Celso Barrios have combined the needs of a residential development with an image far from the standards under which these usually fall. To this effect they have planned a fragmentised façade, comprising a crucible of solid and transparent, and light and dark, using glass as the main material.

general plan 04
general plan 04

The roof carries on the façade with the same materials, openings and finishing, ultimately becoming the solid framework. From the exterior this is perceived as highly attractive as it steers clear of the classic disconnection between façade and roof, but it is inside where unique spaces can be enjoyed such as split-level glass-covered lounges, which provide the duplexes with an outstanding effect of a single family home.

Hence one comes across a glass building, scattered with vertical and horizontal sheets of white concrete, which far from intended for aesthetic purposes only, they have been conceived to create a sun protection mesh during the summer, still allowing the sunlight through during winter when the light incidence angle is minor.

This residential development makes use of clean energy by means of the installation of solar thermal panels on the roof destined to the contribution of hot sanitary water and heating. Furthermore, the energetic efficiency has been optimised with the installation of under-floor heating through hidden hot water pipes, as a result, the hot running water heats the floor whilst providing uniform and comfortable warmth throughout the home. There are multiple advantages to this heating system as it reduces energy consumption remarkably in comparison to the traditional radiator-based systems, with no heating power loss, avoiding dust carbonisation and allowing for each interior to be designed without having to take radiators into account.

The utilisation of glass in the façade and in the common areas for a better usage of natural light, the positioning of sun protection elements in the façade for the times of high exposure, water saving systems, the election of eco-efficient appliances and building materials whose production respects the environment are amongst the different aspects taken into account.

The façade comprises two main elements, namely: glass, whether transparent, translucent or opaque and vertical and horizontal sheets of white concrete, acquiring a solid and avant garde effect; efficient in relation to luminosity and sun protection as well as to maintaining the privacy within the home.

A 1.300 plus square metre area contains the private outdoor area of the development and includes a swimming pool area and solarium paved with wood, green areas, children’s play area and even a partially roofed area for holding celebrations and events.

north elevation
north elevation

A single access is considered from the outside, through which to reach the three lift halls via a glass corridor which runs parallel to the garden. This layout allows for a continuous and unified main façade as well as increased security, better deployed communication areas and outstandingly high use of natural light. The same criteria are followed with the lift halls in which a continuous skylight has been planned from the first floor to the roof, a feature which provides spaciousness and natural light to areas commonly characterised for being enclosed and gloomy spaces. At the communication areas amongst the different homes one will find a colourful perspective, highlighting the entrance to each home through the lightning and the colours of the materials, consequently achieving an remarkable aesthetic effect.

Cite:Nico Saieh. "Arial M6 / Carbajo Barrios Arquitectos" 14 Mar 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>