218 Experimental Houses by Rafael Leoz de la Fuente. Academic Looks of an Ignored Modernity
metalocus, IGNACIO PEINADO
On friday the 6th of October, at the library of the Architecture School of the University of Alcalá, it will be the presentation of the the new book 218 EXPERIMENTAL HOUSES BY RAFAEL LEOZ DE LA FUENTE. ACADEMIC LOOKS OF AN IGNORED MODERNITY.
Poster of the presentation of the book 218 Experimental Houses of Rafael Leoz de la Fuente. Academic Looks of An Ignored Modernity
Rafael Leoz de la Fuente (Madrid, 1921-1976). Undated photo courtesy of Rafael Leoz Foundation.
Detail of explanatory plate of the Module Helle, done by students of Analysis of Architectural Forms, University of Alcalá (UAH).
The 218 Experimental Housing of Torrejón at the beginning of the 80’. Photo courtesy of Rafael Leoz Foundation.
Current interior of one of the houses. Photography of the field work realizad by students of Analysis of Architectural Forms, UAH.
Type page of the book of the chapter dedicated to the presentation of the work done in the subject Analysis of Architectural Forms.
Type page of the book of the chapter dedicated to the presentation of the work done in the subject Technological Innovations.
The publisher Modernidad Ignorada and the editors Roberto Goycoolea Prado & Eduardo Hernández del Caz, have brought up this new book that has the intention to put in value the work of the architect and sculptor Rafael Leoz de la Fuente.
Rafael Leoz de la Fuente (Madrid, 1921-1976), graduated of architecture in 1955 at the School of Architecture of the current Polytechnic University of Madrid, where, since 1965. he also worked as a profesor. In 1968 he published "Networks and Space Rhythms", an essay that summarizes his studies and geometric-social theories on the identity of architectural space. Modulation and industrialization were the instruments used to achieve the optimization of space, recognized by Leoz as the first and fundamental the element of architecture. Through the Foundation created by the architect in 1969, these investigations took social architecture as the main object of study and debate, in three main directions of development: housing, education and health.
In his short but productive career, one of the few works in which he could apply his theories on social architecture was the 218 experimental houses of Torrejón de Ardoz (1973). This project emerged to cover the great needs of shelter in the periphery of the capital, caused by the migratory flows in the mid-twentieth century. His experimental geometric studies were applied, in this case, to social housing through the search for new typologies that responded to the variety of users who would inhabit the project. Thirteen different types of flats, which were grouped into thirteen blocks, with dwellings ranging from two to five bedrooms grouped around a central vertical communications hub.
The experimentation in these houses pursued the improvement of the general conditions of habitability, taking into account some different factors to achieve a real collectivity, such as constructive, ecological, psychological and social factors. The most balanced and best inhabited community possible.
A few years ago, at the University of Alcalá School of Architecture, this experimental project was studied in two different subjects: Analysis of Architectural Form (2nd year) and Technological Innovations (5th year). Each one analyzed the project from different points of view, giving the academic work a greater depth than usual.
The book 218 EXPERIMENTAL HOUSES OF RAFAEL LEOZ DE LA FUENTE. ACADEMIC LOOKS OF AN IGNORED MODERNITYhas as principal intention to put in value the work of Rafael Leoz de la Fuente. It is divided in four parts:
- The first one, introduce the architect theory, with special emphasis on the Helle Module. A project method based on three-dimensional modules, capable of being prefabricated. The Helle Module is based by the anthropometry of the users and the ergonomics of the activities it host.
- The second and third parts, present the academic work, with a special emphasis on the pedagogical process. In the subject of Analysis of Architectural Forms, the objective was to use the graphic expression to obtain a complete understanding of the work analyzed. In Technological Innovations, the purpose of the task was to adapt the original project (built in 1975) to the technical requirements of contemporary comfort and sustainability, while respecting the original modern and social spirit.
- The last part contains, on the one hand, the result of an interview with a group of students who participated in both exercises, in order to collect what they now think about the project and the academic work they did. On the other hand, it contents a conversation between one of the students of the course with Jesús López Díaz, about his doctoral thesis on Rafael Leoz.
The book, will be available in digital format on Amazon from October 6, 2017.
Exceptionally, it is planned to print a limited edition which can be bought at 15 € each copy. It can be requested to firstname.lastname@example.org until September 15, 2017.