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

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Housing form and city form: Urban morphology and local identity
Luis Alonso de Armiño Pérez, Gonzalo Vicente-Almazán Pérez de Petinto, Vicent Cassany i Llopis

Last modified: 14-05-2018


Housing form and city form: Urban morphology and local identity

Keywords (3-5): Building type, urban morphology, Valencia, housing, house floor-plan design


This paper aims to analyse the processes of typological evolution of residential buildings in Valencia as a way to outline an 'affiliation' within the city's housing types, capable of endowing a local identity profile beyond European influences that began to generalise from mid-XIX century.

The residential fabric of Valencia maintained a certain continuity/ intelligibility in its morphological evolution until the 1970s, in which the development of the 1966 PG marked a turning point, with the progressive incorporation of "modern" forms of housing, vaguely related to the diffusion of CIAM architectural principles. Nevertheless, a most substantial part of the city fabric, amounting to two-thirds of all residential buildings, was built before the 1966 PG, and therefore away from 'modern' housing practices. Most of this fabric, corresponding to neighbourhoods resulting from urban extension projects starting in the second half of the nineteenth century, is made out of serially-aggregated, multi-family buildings or 'houses of flats', forming perimeter blocks, whose profile still characterises visually the city's townscape.

To a large extent, these 'houses of flats' are the result of a progressive codification of building prototypes that first appeared in the historic city, originating from the transformation of the traditional city-house. Initially, the transformation began with increasing the number of storeys, successively followed with processes of plot-aggregation, all combined with an horizontal division configuring new housing floor-plans. These processes progressively generated larger buildings, in which the plot shape and dimensions appear as determining instances.

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