This apartment building is located in PAU de Sanchinarro, a new neighbourhood situated on the northeast edge of Madrid, next to MVRDV’s Mirador. Blocks of eight houses are seen as separate prefabricated units. They are positioned in a checkerboard pattern next to and on top of each other leaving openings for communal gardens in between.  The light and ventilation these also provide are in contrast to the claustrophobic conditions of other developments in the area.


Location: Sanchinarro, Madrid, Spain

Year: 2001-2009

Client: EMV, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Madrid ES

Program: 21,550 m2, 146 apartments

Budget: EURO 12.6 Million



Nominated for Mies van der Rohe Award for Contemporary European
Architecture 2011, Barcelona, Spain



Celosia is a private residential scheme and we, therefore, ask visitors to respect the privacy of the people living there when they visit. Whilst in the area it is worth walking down the road to have a look at the Mirador project by MVRDV.

Address : Av. de Francisco Pi y Margall, 12, 28050 Madrid, Spain



The opening of the European borders has caused a real estate boom in Spain. The value has been increased enormously, thus leading to an enormous production of housing. This operation is facilitated in Madrid by a giant new neighbourhood that surrounds the old city. A series of new cities that are mainly constructed of blocks that surround a private patio, with a more or less introverted architecture with small windows, somehow in extreme opposition to extraverted Spanish culture.


The perforated block of Celosia assembles 146 apartments, communal outside areas throughout the building, and parking and commercial program in the plinth. The total floor area is 21,550m2. With a construction cost of 12.6 million Euros, the apartments can be sold for affordable prices. The city block is opened and allows wind and light to enter the building, offering vistas and outside spaces contrasting the surrounding area. The client is EMVS, the public housing corporation of the city of Madrid.


The given volume of the city block was divided into 30 small blocks of apartments. These blocks are positioned in a checkerboard pattern next to and on top of each other, leaving wide openings for communal patios throughout the building. 146 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are all accessed via these communal spaces. Most apartments offer additional private outdoor space in the shape of a loggia right behind the front door. Inhabitants have the possibility to gather in the communal high-rise patios which offer views towards the city and the mountains and provide natural ventilation in summer. Opening the front doors connects the private outdoor areas to the communal area.



Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, and Nathalie de Vries

Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Sandor Naus, Ignacio Borrego, Gijs Rikken, Patricia Mata, Belen Butragueno, Stefan de Koning and Franziska Meisel


Co-architects: Blanca Lleó Asociados, Madrid, Spain

Structure: Estudio José Luis de Miguel, Madrid, Spain

Services: JG & asociados Madrid, Spain

Technical architect: Apartec Colegiados S.L. Madrid ES; Enrique Gil

Contractor: BEGAR, Madrid, Spain

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