Carabanchel Housing by Foreign Office Architects
Here is one way to make a building green: wrap it in bamboo. It makes sense in Madrid, where this apartment building was built on a north-south axis so it gets a lot of sun. Foreign Office Architects put a continuous five foot wide balcony around the building and covered it with bamboo louvres that the owners can operate themselves, creating " the possibility of a differentiated appearance of the units so that inhabitants would have the opportunity to acquire some form of personal identification with their residences."
"Our experiment with this project of low-cost residences was to provide the maximum amount of space, flexibility and quality to the residences, and to erase the visibility of the units and their differences into a single volume with a homogeneous skin able to incorporate some gradation of differences not dependent on the architect’s vision, but on each inhabitants desires."
The plans have a complicated system of internal circulation that appears to ensure that all units have windows on two facades; this is key to getting cross-ventilation. Typical center-corridor plans just about ensure that mechanical air conditioning is necessary, but with natural ventilation and decent exterior shading the need is greatly reduced.
looks cool from inside, too. ::noticias arquitectura