Common Dwelling

Social and Domestic

Juan Herreros 

Housing – which must not be confused with the concept of house or home – is the prime architectural example of perpetual return. Every so often the issue returns to the center of debate and discussion, generally after a period of relative lethargy or neglect. Nevertheless, in the area of public housing this return is meeting with increasingly greater difficulties in the bid to develop new formulations and adapt to the present times, above and beyond compliance with a basic right or producing a worthy architectural solution – in itself a challenge – in a situation of least common denominators. The reason underlying this difficulty is the stubborn repetition of routines in approaches to public residential housing. These routines scarcely stray from the dictates of rigid programmes, and no-longer valid yet never-varying formulations – housing blocks, apartment towers, rows, colonies –, coupled to a total lack of reflection as to the nature of the associated public space. All this in the understanding that housing stops where the city starts, as if it were a different discipline... [+]

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