A Row of Social Houses in Spain by Gabriel Verd Architects offers a Stylish Approach to Affordable Housing

An intriguing social housing project by Gabriel Verd Architects sits unassumingly in the village of Iznajar, close to what is considered the lake of Andalusia, in Southern Spain.

Arrayed along a pronounced slope with a 12 meter differential, covering over 1800 sqm, we find 18 units of 3bedroom row houses that carry a peculiar and unique aesthetic. Simple geometry and an eye catching bit of colour typify the residential units that feature a one car garage, living, dining and kitchen on the ground floor while the first floor caters to 3 rooms and two bathrooms that can house a total of 5-6 people comfortably.

The access to each unit is via the aforementioned garage that hides behind conspicuous metal gratings or as we call it, ‘burglary’ bars that have a ‘not-so-generic’ aesthetic that adds some texture to the facade. This garage or covered carport forms one part of an enclosed exterior space which each unit enjoys. Adjacent to the kitchen is the second, which is almost a natural expansion of the interior space, a nod to traditional Andalusian housing.

Each unit covers about 70 sqm, and is able to maximise the height of interior volume to create surprisingly large spaces. The Dining area, for instance, sits underneath a 7m double volume with high level clerestory windows flooding the ground floor interior with natural daylight. Also, Two of the three bedrooms on the first floor have a headroom of about 4m. This smart use of space offers an uncommon aesthetic and ambiance for a social housing project, without exceeding the stipulated budget of almost € 1.3 million.

The layout and expanse of the units is rhythmical in its appearance as it adapts to the slope of the site, a wave of white pitch roofs with red accent shutters. Its solid design that is intended to be affordable and more accessible yet chooses not to sacrifice aesthetics and form, but, is able to cleverly deliver stylish housing that is practical and contextual to its location and the culture therein.