26 housing units in ES Mercadal, Menorca

As an extension of the urban fabric of Es Mercadal, characterized by a web of narrow streets and small courtyards, the project was conceived from a system of transverse corridors to open an ordered series of patios and paths through two galleries urban roads access. The project forms a continuous urban fabric scale Mercadal, whose strategy makes the project a system incorporating the dimensional precision and economy of means in the housing complex. Optimizing the plot area has generated a compositional strategy of transverse passageways and courtyards to join in the system a high number of homes and meet the parameters of public housing promotion. The geometry of the plot and the rules of the plot, which defines a building depth of 22m, inducing a compact building. At the confluence of the streets, building depth increases, and maximum buildable reaching 50m are achieved. The structure of courtyards of 3.4m and 2.5m access corridors. Longitudinally, the supporting structure of 5.3 and 2.8 m is determined by the development of the lower floor of parking. The cover, visible from nearby Es Mercadal, requires a specific solution for the cover because it is the fifth facade of the building. Thus, an indoor ceramic that emphasizes the transverse corridors of the building and to comply with regulations requiring the development of Arab-tile roof at least four meters on the main facade is proposed. Architecture is the representation of the construction. The project proposes an orderly and conducive modulated structure construction. To be a qualified and consistent residential proposal, the project was conceived from a compositional system that takes into constructive simplicity, maximum privacy in the effective control of light and clarity and flexibility of the courtyards and corridors The central argument of the proposal. Facing the heavy traffic that crosses the road Round and redirects traffic from the city center, courtyards proposed system improves the acoustic conditions of housing, ensuring maximum privacy and acts as a climate control system. Thus, the compositional system intensifies measures for passive building design in order to facilitate natural ventilation of housing and improve comfort conditions and energy consumption. Also, the reduction of energy consumption is pursued by increasing the insulation and support of solar panels. The building volume is excavated with various operations to fill it with light and air. The project evokes the tradition of courtyards and rationality of traditional construction where the climate adaptation and the ancient wisdom of the wall and the hallway flows. Understood as matrix or tissue, repeat strategy and systematic distribution of three bedroom houses type develops inside where variations caused by adaptation to the geometric characteristics of the boundary of the plot, where the type is transformed appear. Despite the high density of the building, of the 26 houses of two and three bedroom homes perimeter 16 extending outside through the open courtyard, while the 10 houses that occupy the central part of the set are developed through the interior courtyards. Despite the irregular perimeter, the composition of households seeks maximum serialization.

AVS Awards 2010

Modalidad Public housing


Dirección C/ Llevant nº 11 y Ronda de ses Costes nº 20
Es Mercadal
Islas Baleares (Spain)

  • Jaime J. Ferrer Forés
  • Institut Balear de l´Habitatge
  • Llabres Feliú