SOMOS.arquitectos wins the third prize for 62 social housing units for young people in Santa Lucia (Cartagena). 

Nowadays, design criteria in Social Housing have not been developed in tune with the evolution of our modern society and therefore, it is unable to meet the needs and standards of young people. Traditional distributions are meaningless when living surfaces are so much minimized. The main goal is to obtain a more flexible living space within such a restrained housing typology. Achieving it without reducing the performance of the social housing capabilities is a problem of distribution and spatial perception.

We have developed the project based on three main different decisions. First, reviewing the minimum sizes of the various pieces set by the regulations finding a new equilibrium. Second, studying spatial integration of the common areas of the house: the kitchen and dining-room might establish visual continuity while sleeping rooms look forward to integrate bathing areas as a way to increase the feeling of open space.

Third, we have captured a portion of the outside space, so that it becomes part of the house. Patios or terraces adequately protected from excessive sunlight and unwanted views can be used as an extension of the living spaces. Given the Mediterranean climate of Cartagena, devices such as sunshades, vegetation, cross ventilation, etc, allows us to understand this piece as an "outdoor living room", an intermediate space between inside and outside. This space also acts as a cushion that helps regulating high temperatures and tempering harsh summers/winters.

This outdoors area is lowered 50 cm. in relation to the living spaces, thus providing richer visual relations with the surroundings.