Social Housing for Mine-workers


Nacho Ruiz Allen, José Antonio Ruiz Esquiroz


Lucía Martínez Trejo, Sara López Arraiza


Manuel Martínez Manso (quantity surveyor), Pentia (structural engineer), Ingitech + Alfredo Balsera (mechanical engineer), Congeo (geotechnical engineer), Cufa (façades)


Dirección General de Vivienda. Principado de Asturias

Construction company

Construcciones y Contratas Herrera


Cerredo, Asturias, Spain




Ignacio Martínez, RAAL


Special Mention (2013) - Premio Europeo di Architettura Ugo Rivolta. Milan, Italy
Shortlisted (2011) - XI Spanish Architecture Biennial. Madrid, Spain
Shortlisted (2010) - Architecture FAD Awards. Barcelona, Spain
Selected (2010) - Young Spanish Architecture. Madrid, Spain
First Prize (2010) - XX Asturias Architecture Award. Oviedo, Spain
Shortlisted (2010) - XII Stone Architecture Award. Madrid, Spain


The client wanted a new building with 15 public residential units in Cerredo, a mining town located in the Cantabrian Mountains, where no residential construction had been made for more than 25 years.

The project consists of two phases, materialized in two buildings perpendicular to each other. In the first phase, the building with the most significant presence is undertaken, facing the road that crosses the village. The proposed volume has an angular profile. It is a crystallized geometry based on elementary laws, which arise from the urban planning regulations. The formal result is halfway between a petrified object, a mountainous silhouette and a disturbing organism floating on the hillside. This 'crystallographic' object has the same dark colour as the local slate. Like a piece of coal, it absorbs almost all the light it gets, reflecting a small portion and serenely displaying its rich geometry.

The unity of the building contrasts with the individuality of each of the 15 dwellings, visible through galleries on the façade. These are cubes that perforate the volume in a staggered pattern and act as heat and light exchangers. All the apartments are different, either by their size, floor plan distribution, location of the gallery or configuration of their roofs, but they all enjoy cross ventilation and magnificent views of the rugged landscape of Asturias. The object-like character of the volume is accentuated by the treatment of the first floor, recessed along the entire perimeter to reinforce the idea of a 'floating body'.