In March 2006, an architectural ideas restricted competition was convened by the Madrid Municipal Housing Company (EMVS) as a first step for the construction of a "demonstrator" building, in the context of the strategy fixed by the I+D+i Manubuild Integrated Project, with funding from the European Commission through the 6th Framework Programme.
The objective of this competition, involving various European teams, was getting high architectural level proposals on new building types - in the Mediterranean climate and culture area-, with application of industrialized, open and sustainable, constructive systems in such a way that the selected ideas constitute the conceptual starting point for the building which the EMVS was scheduled to built in Madrid as research demonstrator.
The proposal aims to overcome the inertia that have traditionally burdened construction in Spain. This model has been given lately by a comfortable quantitative development founded on opportunistic real estate development, with the result that the way we grow has been the more unsustenable in the European Union. However, what is most troubling is that along with this situation persists -already a chronic problem- the lack of specialization, dependent on a labour little qualified, in such a way that it is almost impossible to consolidate any culture of innovation.
We believe that the answer to these demands cannot be carried out using the traditional tools of closed industrialization, a model which leads to homogeneous and standardized products and that has been shown so far fruitless to architecture and society. The problem of construction can not be exclusively addressed in terms of seriation. The challenge, therefore, is not blend in a finished industrial product but to build using real assembly processes of the components of an always open to innovative solutions catalog.
The competition strategy inherits this intellectual approach and incorporates a working methodology that proposes new flexible building types and with evolving capacity, not only to adapting to the users changing needs but also to the compatibility requirements that the open industrialized systems demand, and completing and perfecting these with new products that will allow to cope with the energy savings increasing demand.
The spatial flexibility required in the competition bases is answered with industrialized systems that generate the load-bearing structure, facilities, passive and active bioclimatic systems and the façade systems, allowing to reach a completely open solution where can combine the building elements within a standardised range of products and suppliers.
-The project's strategy consists of work from a geometric matrix completely open and capable, therefore, ensure from the origin compatibility with products and industrial systems.
-This geometric matrix determines also the building type and favours the integration of energy savings active and passive systems, thereby the spatial outcome allows flexible configurations not penalized by technical easements that hinder conventional construction.
-The result of the development of the project is a completely open catalogue of industrialized products and systems that can be used to respond to any climathe or functional requirement.