It is generally accepted that the rising demand for affordable housing in Europe is one of the consequences of the current, prolonged state of economic uncertainty. Starting with the Nineties, a substantial amount of European middle-class citizens, who used to live up to high living standards with an adequate spatial quality, experienced a reduction in their purchasing power and consequently an increasing distress in finding a home corresponding to their aspirations. The ratio between incomes and housing costs declined and the exercise costs soared until a point that they equalled the average loan. But economic parameters alone can not measure the actual value of an house. Living in a dissatisfying spatial environment nurtures frustration and facilitates social desegregation. Spatial quality should then be considered as a value too, and it should be pursued through simple and sober means, combining costs-effective building methods and minimization of energy consumption by means of architectural design, in order to define a spatial structure adaptable to the needs of the families and to the new lifestyles born of the social and environmental crisis. This paper draws on an entry for the competition “Low Budget Living”, called by a private investor to build 53 low cost dwellings in Salzburg. The project is based on generalizable assumptions, and explores a spatial configuration able to balance five main features: the relationship between public and private spaces, economy, flexibility, sustainability and respect for the preexisting elements found in the physical context. These themes interweave in a building complex that combines various typologies within different volumes, connecting the private space of the dwellings through collective extensions and developing construction techniques that provide spatial quality with limited resources. The proposal is conceived from its very outset as the beginning of a constructive process open to future enhancements and integrations made by users, in an attempt to build an architectural framework that could eventually favor the growth of positive social behavior.
1+1>2. Per una nuova sobrietà nel progetto della residenza / Spanedda, Francesco; MONSÙ SCOLARO, Antonello. - 3:(2015), pp. 771-780. (Intervento presentato al convegno Abitare il futuro - III edizione tenutosi a Napoli nel 01/02 ottobre 2015).