Viale Giulini Affordable Housing

practical info

Studio: Alvisi Kirimoto (Rome, Italy)
Image credits: Marco Cappelletti

visual material

general aspects

A compact and down-to-earth architecture.
The complex, which has 50 units including underground car parks and a ground floor dedicated to commercial activities, looks like a C-shaped monolith, spanning a height of six floors. The regularity of the elevations represents the main character of the building: the uniform dark grey brick curtain becomes a sort of neutral score where dynamic rhythms are delivered by protuding, niche white metal sheet elements.
The balconies overlook Viale Giulini to optimize the natural light, and are carved into the volume in the other elevations to limit the phenomenon of radiation. Protected from rain at the top and laterally by perforated sheet metal screens to increase the level of privacy, they house the technological infrastructures and drying racks on the sides. Their shape allows for maximum internal customization, without altering the general aesthetics of the facades.
During the day, natural light reduces the apparent weight of the building, the volumes of the loggias and balconies become slight, combining the material and the abstract, lightness and gravity with maximum simplicity. The ground floor of the building also transmits solidity and dynamism at once.
Rigorous lines, essential shapes and balanced colours: the result is a simple and refined design which restores dignity to social housing in the suburbs. A project that, with the same grace with which it stands, brings the theme of quality accommodation at affordable prices back to the heart of the architectural debate.

The project is highly innovative from a technological point of view. The solutions adopted ensure that the internal and external loggias are prefabricated and easily reproducible in series, without renouncing the richness of detail and durability. This strategy, shared with the contractor, has made it possible to make quality social housing and to deliver a unique, safe and durable home, with an extremely limited budget for the current market.

about the category

With the Viale Giulini Affordable Housing project we are redesigning the outskirts of Barletta (Puglia) through a social housing intervention. The project, located in the south-west of the city, in the new Zona 167 district, aims to fuse the urban macro-scale with the domestic dimension, within a larger system of projects to revitalize the neighbourhood.
With a sober and rigorous profile, the building relates to the city in a sculptural way, in stark contrast to the diverse, deafening context in which it is nestled, which lack green spaces and are characterized by ostentatious decorative solutions, and rigid housing and urban typologies.
The project, conceived as the 'zero point' of a general redevelopment of this part of the city, breaks away from the typical forms of social housing construction. We were interested in working on the typology and quality of the spaces, not only on the design. To balance the gravity of the volume, whose profile on the ground floor bends to expand the public space, we imagined a series of light and permeable loggias hanging on the facade, 'democratically' attributing extra space to everyone. The loggias project outwards, as a natural extension of the apartments. What’s more, thanks to their white and perforated surfaces, they reflect natural light within the domestic environment, and they add a further 10 to 15 m2 to the apartments, enhancing the spatial quality of the more modest and limited typological cuts.
All the apartments are organized around a courtyard, which occupies over 70% of the lot. The courtyard is designed as a small park, where the inhabitants can leave the chaos of the city behind, and enjoy trees and deciduous plants, which provide shade in summer and natural light in winter.