3 + 2 = 5. That’s the total units in this social housing project by Antonio Holgado Gómez in Badajoz, Spain. Due to the topological difference up to four metres, the units were divided into two sections — one composed of three units and the other two, connected by a courtyard that acts as a common space.
Shielding away the Spanish sun, the minimalistic white exterior wraps the entire space with slanted roofs. Adorning the white elevations are gridded rectangular cutouts that hide away the inner openings of the housing units. This double-layering effect creates an illusive depth to 3+2’s façade.
The formal topology of this housing complex reminds one of Santorini in Greece, which is also a part of the Mediterranean Sea. The difference lies in this project’s crisp lines. However, when its dividing partitions are adjacent to the surrounding buildings, the walls are lowered to exposed the surrounding contexts. There, the rough texture of bricks and stones is put against simplistic white to create a beautiful contrast.
There is something quite poetic to me about this minimal architectural project. With its nesting quality (all thanks to the courtyard), it feels as if the separated units are in fact, not separated at all. The success of 3+2 lies here, in the design’s cohesiveness.
Photography by Jesús Granada.