The project, located in the south-west of Barletta, in the new Zona 167 district, aims to fuse the urban macro-scale with the domestic dimension, within a larger project to revitalize the neighbourhood.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2021
Second Award |  Housing (over 5 floors) (Built)

Project Name: Viale Giulini Affordable Housing
Studio Name: Alvisi Kirimoto

Design Team:

Massimo Alvisi, Junko Kirimoto, Chiara Quadraccia, Donato Labella
Area: 5380 sqm
Year: 2020
Location: Barletta (BT), Italy


Structural project: Ing. Antonio Salzo
Installations and fire-prevention system: Tumulo & Denuzi Engineers
Photography Credits: Marco Cappelletti
Other Credits:
Client: Edilbari s.r.l.
Contractor: Edilbari s.r.l.

Video link:

Video credits: Mattia Caprara and Flavio Pescatori

Viale Giulini Affordable Housing By Alvisi Kirimoto - Sheet1
©Marco Cappelletti

The project is a “compact and down-to-earth architecture”. With a sober and rigorous profile, the building relates to the city in a sculptural way, in stark contrast to the diverse, deafening context in which it is nestled, which lack green spaces and are characterized by ostentatious decorative solutions, and rigid housing and urban typologies.

The complex, which has 40 units divided into 3 blocks including underground car parks and a ground floor dedicated to commercial activities, looks like a C-shaped monolith, spanning a height of six floors and a total area of over 5,000 square metres. The regularity of the elevations represents the main character of the building: the uniform dark grey brick curtain becomes a sort of neutral score where dynamic rhythms are delivered by protuding, niche white metal sheet elements.

Viale Giulini Affordable Housing By Alvisi Kirimoto - Sheet2
©Marco Cappelletti

The project, conceived as the ‘zero point’ of a general redevelopment of this part of the city, breaks away from the typical social housing construction. We were interested in working on the typology and quality of the spaces, not only on the design. To balance the gravity of the volume, whose profile on the ground floor bends to expand the public space, we imagined a series of light and permeable loggias hanging on the facade, ‘democratically’ attributing extra space to everyone. The loggias project outwards, as a natural extension of the apartments. Thanks to their white and perforated surfaces, they reflect natural light within the domestic environment, and they add a further 10-15 sqm to the apartments, enhancing the spatial quality of the more modest and limited typological cuts.

Viale Giulini Affordable Housing By Alvisi Kirimoto - Sheet3
©Marco Cappelletti

The project is highly innovative from a technological point of view. The solutions adopted ensure that the internal and external loggias are prefabricated and easily reproducible in series, without renouncing the richness of detail and durability. This strategy, shared with the contractor, has made it possible to make quality social housing and to deliver a unique, safe and durable home, with an extremely limited budget for the current market.

During the day, natural light reduces the apparent weight of the building, the volumes of the loggias and balconies become slight, combining the material and the abstract, lightness and gravity with maximum simplicity. The ground floor of the building also transmits solidity and dynamism.

Viale Giulini Affordable Housing By Alvisi Kirimoto - Sheet4
©Marco Cappelletti

All the apartments are organized around a courtyard that is designed as a small park, where the inhabitants can leave the chaos of the city behind, and enjoy trees and deciduous plants.

Rigorous lines, essential shapes and balanced colours: the result is a simple and refined design in contrast with the eccentricity of the surrounding buildings which restores dignity to social housing in the suburbs. A project that, with the same grace with which it stands, brings the theme of quality accommodation at affordable prices back to the heart of the architectural debate.