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SOCIAL HOUSING, VALENCIA

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building study

Lewis has produced designs for an ambitious social-housing project for the Spanish city of Valencia. A metal framework construction will elevate communal-deck access to 7.5 m above the ground. This height allows the existing use of the site - as an orange grove - to continue undisturbed. The grove will then be duplicated inside the building: 150 orange trees are to be planted on its upper decks. Inhabitants will drop down 2.5m into bedrooms from the main deck - which Lewis refers to as a 'road' - and will have access to a communal area above.

The design of the latter is influenced by the local agricultural vernacular of 'cold houses', which have slatted roofs to provide shade for plants. Lewis wants to encourage a mode of living akin to camping. There will be extensive use of cheap and adaptable materials - such as agricultural netting and cane fencing - for the outer skin and spatial partitions.

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