The studio received a commission to create a gated community of houses on the outskirts of Madrid; Somosaguas, an “anti-crisis” product that responded to the demand for housing.
The Project should adapt the “made to order” architectural details for a larger scale and should use industrialized products, available in the European market.
The land occupied an entire block. The underground garage leaves the ground floor free to be used by the pedestrians and allows access to the homes for those who reside there. There are 21 houses in total, organized on 5 plateaus that overcome the uneven topography of 3.5m. The perimeter of the street is on the same level as the surrounding sidewalk. 4 different sized houses were designed following the 1,25m building module; from these there are 21 different configurations. Each house is unique.
The relation between the size of the lot (0.75 hectares) and the population estimated at 97 people results in a demographic density of 130 inhabitants/hectare. An expressive number given that the density of Madrid is 54 inhabitants/hectare, according to Portal del Ayuntamiento de Madrid.
The architecture uses simple, industrial and monochromatic materials. Visually it is difficult to distinguish the unit from the group. The mini-wave and painted in white brick façades contrast with the wooden fences that delimit the paths. A rich and abundant landscaping permeates the entire lot and spreads on it in an organic way breaking the orthogonal angles of the volumes.
The non-linear placement of the houses makes it appear similar to a “pueblo” with different paths inside the lot. The notion of ownership of the lot is diluted. The houses are built over a garden with common fruition and a private patio for each unit. There is a delicate transition between the private and the public.
In the middle is the main square, a meeting place around the pool.
The relationship between the block and the city happens in a permeable way. There are no external walls and the houses themselves create a non-linear divide between the street and the block which, in turn, create breather valves and more generous gardens for the public walkway.
The Somosaguas project is a meta-project. The permeable occupation of an urban block for pedestrians can be replicated on any other urban lot in any other city. Each block can house different equipments for common use. The Project intends to maximize collective living in the city.
Marcio Kogan was born in São Paulo on March 6, 1952. He is an architect graduated from the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University Mackenzie in 1976. During the first years of his career, Marcio divided his time between cinema and architecture. Since 2001, Marcio Kogan's office has been renamed Studio MK27. From that time, the studio has gained greater international projection, having received more than 150 national and international awards. Currently, besides its production in Brazil, Studio MK27 has projects in several countries. In 2011, Kogan was selected to be an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his body of work. In 2012, Studio MK27 represented Brazil at the Venice Architecture Biennale, in the exhibition at the national pavilion curated by Lauro Cavalcanti, who also highlighted an installation by Lúcio Costa.