University Housing, Gandía / Guallart Architects

© Adrià Goula

Architects: Guallart Architects - Vicente Guallart and María Díaz
Location: , Valencia,
Collaborators: Andrea Imaz, Daniela Frogheri, Fernando Meneses, Ricardo Guerreiro, Lina Savickaité, Rasa Mizaraité, Katarzyna Klimek
3D images: Asaduzzaman Rassel, Néstor David Palma
Client: Visoren Renta
Built area: 12,074 sqm
Completion: 2011
Photographs: Adrià Goula

© Adrià Goula

This project was developed in Gandia, a town with a population of 75,000 to the south of Valencia. The aim was to develop a hybrid project that would function essentially as a student residence while meeting the requirements of social housing, with the corresponding standards and characteristics.

© Adrià Goula

The proposed programme includes 102 apartments for young people, 40 apartments for senior citizens, and a civic and social centre for the town council. The most interesting question from a programmatic point of view is the provision of shared spaces in the apartments for young people, which is in effect a new version from the traditional residence for young people.

© Adrià Goula

In Spain the national Housing Plan clearly establishes that apartments can be built with an area of between 30 and 45 m2, with up to 20% of shared space, but does not specify where or how this should be located.

The fact is that the idea of sharing spaces is fully compatible with the goals of social and environmental sustainability, grounded as it is on the principle of ‘doing more with less’: that is, offering people more resources through the mechanism of sharing.

© Adrià Goula

Recent analyses have identified a minimum of thirteen basic functions related to the fact of dwelling. Some of these are clearly private (sleeping, bathing, etc), while others can have a semi-public or shared nature: eating, relaxing, digital working, washing clothes, etc.

These resources can be shared within a single dwelling, between two dwellings, between individuals on the same floor or two adjoining floors, on the scale of a whole building or between different buildings in the same neighbourhood.

© Adrià Goula

The key, then, is to choose the scale at which we want to share resources so as to create a particular model of habitability or another. If we construct 102 apartments of 45 m2 each, which may share 20% of their floor area, we can have up to 918 m2 of shared space. This could be in the form of 51 shared spaces of 18 m2 (each apartment in a pair contributing 9 m2), or a single space of 918 m2.

Our proposal puts forward an interesting and innovative model with which to define three scales of habitability:

  • A first, individual scale of 36 m2, comprising the kitchen, bathroom and rest area in a loft-style apartment.
  • A second, intermediate scale of 108, 72, 36, 24 and 12 m2, shared by 18, 12, 6, 4 or 2 people, on every second floor. This comprises a spacious living area and contact and work areas.
  • A third and larger scale of 306 m2, shared by all 102 people and located on the ground floor, which will include a lounge, a laundry, Internet access and a library.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "University Housing, Gandía / Guallart Architects" 01 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • rodrigo

    there will be blood..

  • Kenny Huang

    somebody give it a band-aid

  • Mike Bond


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  • Shed in blood…

    read my name…

  • Pixel Ketchup

    Timmy, did you break the giant bottle of pixellated ketchup again!?


    The architectural equivalent of Carrie’s prom night


    The Ghostbusters pink slime oozing from the NY public library scene, as modeled in Lego

    These could go on forever….

  • remko

    some people live making copy paste of Holland architecure…. This is a very good example !
    ( Erik van Egeraat )

  • Jojo

    Any comment about the space? About the lay-outs? or you can only see the red color?

    • Mike Bond

      Yes, because it overwhelms everything! Just look at those murderous facades. :)
      And, btw, layouts are quite typical in my opinion.