Residential Los Faroles

Alaquás, Valencia. 2010

The group of 160 dwellings known as Barrio de los Faroles in the town centre of Alaquas, a small town of 30.000 in the metropolitan area of the city of Valencia, was built in 1954. It consists of two pairs of four-storey high blocks of 40 dwellings each, organized around a cul-de-sac and separated by a passing through street. It was built in a depression period, quickly and with low cost materials, in order to allocate mainly workers newly arrived in the city. More than 50 years lately it presents functional and social problems with an elderly population of more than 40%.
The commission from the town council was based on the idea that rehabilitation of public space would be the catalyst of the urban regeneration needed in the neighbourhood. The investment from local, regional and state authorities had to be directed into restoring quality of life in the core of the town through small but clearly defined design acts.
The project brings solution to the five main problems detected after a thorough analysys: Accesibility, with the inclusion of eight vertical circulation towers with an elevator and a staircase each, placed in the inner alleys; Façade restoration, creating new bow-windows to enclose three balconies in vertical each, in order to create a filter that keeps diversity under control and addition of new windows without removing the existing ones to enhance insulation and homogenize the façade; Roof intervention, acting on insulation, waterproofing, ventilation and telecommunication systems; Reorganization of services, considering drainage, gas, electrical and water supplies updated to new building regulations; and finally Urbanization of the inner alleys transformed into gardens playing with paving and greenery in order to revitalize social life.