Carabanchel Social Housing
Foreign Office Architects gave bamboo a leading role in their latest housing scheme in Spain. There were two main reasons for doing so: it's eco-friendly and it's comfortingly cosy. Bamboo louvres mounted on folding frames cover the façades of the building in Madrid's Carabanchel public housing development in the city's southern suburbs. The basic parallelogram block contains units of different shapes and sizes which, thanks to their tube-like interior, all have a dual east-west orientation as well as access to a private garden on the eastern side. The louvres not only provide the necessary protection from the blazing summer sun, but also enhance security and, because they are completely under the control of each unit's occupants, they also highlight the latter's spatial independence.