Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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The Hybrid Block as Urban Form
Javier Pérez Igualada

Last modified: 11-05-2018


The Hybrid Block as Urban Form

Javier Pérez Igualada

Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universitat Politécnica de València. Camino de Vera, s/n. 46022 Valencia.
E-mail: jperezi@urb.pv.es

Keywords: Hybrid Block, Urban Form, Mixed Use Buildings, Open Planning

Conference topics and scale: Urban form and social use of space



In this paper we analyze the hybrid block as an urban form of synthesis, in which the open order of modern urbanism is superimposed on the closed order of traditional urbanism. In this model, proposed for the first time by Hilberseimer in his 1927 Vertical City, housing and work are not separated but overlapping on mixed-use buildings, where the dwellings are located in slabs or towers shaped as isolated volumes, whose design responds to its own internal logic, based on functional criteria (rational distribution of rooms, orientation, ventilation, sunshine, views...). Those volumes emerge from a compact built-up podium for commercial or office uses, aligned with the perimeter streets and responding to the external logic of the urban fabric. This configures an urban form in which both hybridization of architectural forms and hybridization of uses are obtained, recovering the multifunctional character of the traditional urban block, which had disappeared in functionalist urbanism.

The paper examines the reasons that can explain the exclusion of this urban form from the repertoire of elements of modern urbanism, and analyzes the validity of the hybrid block, as an strategy to recompose or reinterpret the urban block, assuming high density and collective housing as a basic typology for the construction of the city.



Martí Arís, C. (1991): Las formas de residencia en la ciudad moderna (UPC, Barcelona).

Pérez Igualada, J. (2005): Manzanas, bloques y casas. Formas construidas y formas del suelo en la ciudad contemporánea (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia).

Pérez Igualada, J. (2008): ‘Si cambia la vivienda, cambia la ciudad. La vivienda pequeña y sus formas de agrupación en la Valencia de posguerra’, en AA.VV., Renta limitada. Los grupos de viviendas baratas construidos en la Valencia de posguerra (1939-1964) (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia) 40-48.

Pérez Igualada, Javier (2014): ‘Ecos del norte: la manzana híbrida en el Proyecto para la Avenida de Valencia al Mar de Fernando Moreno Barberá (1959-60)’, ACE: Architecture, City and Environment = Arquitectura, Ciudad y Entorno, 9, 29-52.


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