Frequence in different shades of grey: the Coslada Hybrid Complex entirely clad in steel

Entirely clad in steel sheets in different shades of grey, the four towers are connected by an elevated public plaza that stands out in flashy orange. The steel facade of this architectural complex with subsidised flats, offices, and retail spaces was supplied by ArcelorMittal.

Detailed information

Located in a recently redeveloped area in the industrial town of Coslada, close to Madrid, the project is born of the arrangement between different uses and different height levels. Underground parking, offices, and commercial space range from the public ground floor to the public raised space on the third floor platform from which point residential spaces continue to the top of the building. It is a hybrid building in the periphery.

Low cost housing

The project was promoted by the local government in order to deal with the lack of low cost housing in the city. The whole of the 20 000 m2 build with an injection of 8 700 000 Euros was designed according to a specific demand for young people whereby 70% of the 118 units would be allotted for rent, leaving 35 dwellings for sale.

The project aimed to offer an attractive urban proposal, more than the mere accumulation of residential units. The decision to divide the volume into four towers around a public raised space that works as a cover for the entrances and commercial areas in the public ground space turns the building into a visible, urban joint that connects different areas in the city.

Project details

The low square is connected to the high public space by a lift and hung metallic stairs. The high plaza, elevated ten metres, connects the four towers and separates their diverse uses, definitely creating the heart of the project. As a meeting point space, it assumes its role, once equipped, as a leisure place for collective socialisation, becoming a new open community space for the city.

The residential complex consists of 40 m2 flats and 60 m2 two-bedroom dwellings. The interior space of the residential spaces was conceived as a continuous space that can be modified with large sliding doors and are enlarged by 7 m2 protected terraces for permanent use. The residential spaces are separated from outdoors by a thick linear storage set and from the noise of common corridors with the mechanical rooms.

The set is constructed with a reinforced concrete structure covered with a steel sheet skin that is finished in shades of gray working as a ventilated facade that changes from opaque finish to perforated finish.

ArcelorMittal involvement

This steel skin consists of ArcelorMittal Construction's Frequence 14.18F in the colours BRICK 5201, PLATINA 4710, and MOUSE 4752. ArcelorMittal Construction Spain supplied the 15 500 m2 of this undulating profile that was not only used for the external facade of the building, but also for the staircases, common spaces, and parking.

In Spain it is not very common to see steel facades in residential buildings. There is a strong architectural tradition of bricks, concrete, or ceramic materials for this type of constructions. The Coslada complex shows in an innovative way that steel is up for more - not just in industrial buildings where it is still mainly used.

Text: Amann Cánovas Maruri Arquitectos & Constructalia

Project information

  • Coslada, Madrid
  • Spain
  • Architect:
    Amann Cánovas Maruri Arquitectos
  • Project managers:
    Atxu Amann, Andrés Cánovas, Nicolás Maruri.
  • 2010 - 2012
  • Client:
    EMVICOSA, Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda de Coslada
  • Engineering firm:
    Condiciones Internas S.L., Mecanismo / Florentino Regalado (structure)
  • Contractor:
  • Photographer:
    ©David Frutos