Alejandro Zaera-Polo (born October 17th 1963) is an internationally recognized architect and scholar, and founder of London, Zurich, and Princeton-based firm Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture (AZPML). First rising to prominence in the 1980s with his writings for publications such as El Croquis, Zaera-Polo has had a prolific career in both the academic and professional realms of architecture.
Choice of building materials and the inherent continuous reflection about the reach and capabilities of architecture are an interesting alternative way to approach this issue. The materials used in social housing should address local and economic possibilities and the real needs for access to housing in the contemporary context.
In this article, we analyze different projects published on our site to identify some of the predominant materials used in social housing, both for the formation of structures or enclosures. The intentions of this are two-fold: firstly, to create a worldwide panorama of different case studies with different construction styles from a range of geographical locations, and secondly, to provide inspiration and tools to architects to make better social housing.
Below we present 15 social housing projects and their diverse materials and construction styles.
“A House is a place (…) as physical as a set of feelings. (…) a home is a relation between materiality and mastery and imaginative processes, where the physical location and materiality and the feelings and ideas are united and influence each other, instead of being separated and distinct. (…) a house is a process of creation and comprehension of ways of living and belonging. A house is lived, as well as imagined. The meaning of house and the way it materially manifests itself, it´s something that is created and recreated in an unceasingly way through every day domestic tasks, which are themselves connected to the spacial imaginary of the house”1
The sentence mentioned above is the starting-point of the current reflection, in an exercise that will mark meaningfully my approach to the way of projecting houses.
The purpose of architectural photography is to show a design in the best possible way, with the artform often characterized by perspective correction and atmospheric lighting. However, few architectural photographers have experimented with other artistic disciplines. Miguel de Guzmán, Paul Vu and Jules Couartou are among those who have challenged the limits of this form of photography, generating an interesting crossover between architecture photography, fashion and performances. In their images, the relationship between space and the user is shown through a scene designed to register an effect on the viewer. The results are images which are full of creativity.
Church of the Major Seminary of the Pontifical University of Comillas Integral Renovation / Fernandez-Abascal + Muruzabal + Alonso and Barrientos + UP Arquitectos
Color, inherited from indigenous cultures of Mexico, is a defining characteristic of Mexican architecture. Vibrant colors have been used by architects and artists such as Luis Barragán, Ricardo Legorreta, Mathias Goeritz, Juan O'Gorman, and Mario Pani.
Color in Mexican architecture has reinforced the identity of different regions and areas within the country. For example, it is almost impossible to think of San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato without the facade colors that weave the landscape.