Carlos Lamela explains in ‘El País’ that houses must be rethought. It’s not a question of resources “but of ideas”
Confinement has revealed that thousands of houses were not prepared for us to live, work and enjoy leisure in. Interior apartments, closed terraces, lack of ventilation and sunlight, sanitation, impractical accesses … the list of reproaches goes on and on. Carlos Lamela, president of Estudio Lamela, explains his vision in the El País newspaper (“The Humiliations of Spanish Flats are Exposed”) of where to trace the path and of some mistakes that shouldn’t have been made.
“The architects”, Carlos Lamela reflects, “we must imagine and build homes where natural light, ventilation and simple and comfortable mobility prevail, regardless of the type of home. We’re learning that we have to design houses for an unforeseen world.” There are also other lessons that we should’ve learned from the past. For example, “It’s baffling that it’s been allowed to close the balconies in Madrid; it’s something that doesn’t happen in any other city or country. It’s a true cancer of our urban planning.” Because, aside from offering views, they protect the façade from the sun and rain. The regulation doesn’t help either. Well, for example, in Madrid, balconies are counted as buildable, with which the developer eliminates them and replaces them with a lookout or leaves them with a minimum expression. An obvious asymmetry. It’s something that doesn’t happen in Catalonia or in the Valencian Community.
Changes are necessary. Assess the views, the acoustic conditions, the possibility of designing spaces that fulfill various functions (some hours of the day they could be a place of leisure, and during others, a workspace, for instance). We have to rethink houses. It’s not a question of resources “but design; how they are designed,” says Carlos Lamela. It’s time to reimagine homes.