Nestled in a picturesque neighborhood on the Spanish island, Ibiza, is a charming apartment complex that shies away from the traditional norms of architectural dwellings. “Social Housing in Ibiza” is a project that takes an abstract approach to seaside living with a porous shell that breaths in the island’s air.
Receiving top honors in the architectural category of the 2022 Tile of Spain Awards, this set of 19 residential units designed by Ripoll-Tizón, offers residents a unique Mediterranean living experience.
The building is located in a depersonalized urban context, an area of new urban growth located in Talamanca, near the Ibiza marina, with views of the old city. The proposal for social housing was raised by the design team, with the intention of constructing a building whose identity is more clearly linked to the climate and way of life on the island.
The jury praised the high architectural standards of this project, where traditional looking glazed stoneware tiles were used to guarantee aesthetic appeal and high durability. The tiles also have a decorative function, marking out filled and empty spaces so that the architecture is organized around the empty inner space that plays such an important role in the makeup of the project.
Project Description by Ripoll-Tizón
We are located on the border between the residential area of the Eivissa marina and an area of floodplains and crops. A heterogeneous urban context where buildings for tourist and leisure use coexist with blocks of flats and holiday apartments. A landscape without apparent order resolved from isolated volumes of disparate images.
It is intended to flee from what the immediate environment represents and build a building whose identity is linked to the climate and way of life of the island. We look at the Ibizan country houses as an example of architecture that responds to the place: white walls and controlled openings with solar protection, porches and shaded spaces.
These constructions, which are presented as a sum of concatenated pavilions, grew over the years according to the spatial needs of those who inhabited them. This way of building, adding modules according to the programmatic needs of a house, is taken as a starting point for the development of the proposal.
Urban regulations require that the building be inscribed in a pyramidal envelope, the contour of which is determined based on its height and distance from party walls. Some of the existing pyramid buildings in the area owe their existence to this.
We propose that the built volume be as close as possible to this maximum envelope in order to release a void in the heart of the building. An interior space is generated that breathes in various directions through linked openings, patios and porches while organizing the community, circulation, relationship and access spaces to the houses that surround it.
Due to the existence of the water table, very close to the surface, it was decided to avoid excavations and locate the car park on the ground floor. The houses are distributed among the 5 upper floors, and all of them have at least 2 different orientations, which guarantees correct lighting, sunlight, and natural cross ventilation. The building has an excellent energy rating (A).
It is built by stacking, adding, and adding one house on top of the other, seeking to obtain a final set that is porous and permeable to light and the breeze.
A housing system is developed and a systematic grouping of rigid unit types is avoided. The proposed system, strict in the laws that govern it, gives rise to a versatile housing typology that allows the different units to adapt to the particular situations sought without renouncing the standardization of the solutions that the development of the VPO requires.
The housing typology is generated from a square-measured base module (living-dining-kitchen), to which other smaller modules are attached (extra modules for the living room or modules that contain the bedrooms and wet areas).
The different combinations of these modules according to the number of bedrooms required generate the catalogue of homes used to build the building.
As for the materials used, the use of ceramics both in common areas and inside the homes is noteworthy.
Glazed stoneware and glazed ceramics of different colours and formats are used to characterize the circulation areas of the building and the accesses to the dwellings. Smooth and square tiles of 10x20cm and 20x20cm are combined in yellow, light blue, blue and straw colours; Straw-blue 20x20cm bevel tile and light blue rectangular latticework.
Ceramic (porcelain stoneware) is also used inside the homes, both for flooring and for covering wet areas.