imagen-principalLocation: Sotos, Cuenca
Ownser: Castile-La Mancha Regional Government, Department of Education and Science in Cuenca.
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem
Date: 2009

A small entrance porch and a public multi-use space were added to a rural infant school.

The multipurpose hall is located in front of the entrance to the school like a coloured-concrete box on glazed, white brick walls.

Inside, there are two kinds of light: the windows at the north and south ends produce uniform light, while the small windows in the east and west façades generate dynamic movement through the inside space as the light changes with the passing hours of the day.

The outside pedestrian gallery is supported by slender, multi-coloured metal pillars, inclined at an angle to add dynamism, making the gallery look as if it were about to take off. Functionally, it acts as a porch, an entrance and as the opening curtain to the current existing building.


imagen-principalLocation: C/ Fray Luis de León, Osa de la Vega, Cuenca
Owner: Castile-La Mancha Regional Government, Department of Education and Science in Cuenca.
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Antonio Mata Mesa
Date: 2008-2009

The design won the first prize in the public design competition organised by the Castile-La Mancha Regional Government’s Department of Education and Science for the expansion and refurbishment of an old and ugly local school in the town centre.

The refurbishment was approached in the same way that a surgeon operates to save what he can and remove anything whose condition, function or appearance renders it useless, in a difficult balance between the financially possible and the architecturally valid.

A drastic change was made to alter not only the internal layout but, above all, the façades. Horizontal, galvanised profiles were designed as a second skin that occasionally provides openings for windows, enhances safety and affords protection from the sun, giving the building a neutral, functional and clean appearance.

The building has not yet been built, despite the austere financial proposal.

122 SOCIAL HOUSING UNITS (protected subsidised housing), OFFICES

imagen-principal Location: PAU-4. MOSTOLES (MADRID).
Owner: Móstoles Municipal Land Institute (IMS). Móstoles Town Council, Madrid
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem
Date: 2007-2009

Our team won the restricted tender that Móstoles town council organised through its Municipal housing company.
The design brief comprised offices, retail premises, residential units and parking spaces on two basement levels in a building based on a complex typological design to comply with mandatory urban planning regulations.
To optimise use, making it more compatible with the different requirements for residential, office and retail, the offices and commercial premises were grouped in the area facing the busiest, most popular public space and are totally separate from the housing, which is structured around the pedestrian street and the quieter rear of the building. The two buildings are therefore twinned but independent.
A modular precast concrete panel system was used for the façades of the residential units, with two textures and different colouring, alternated depending on the orientation and position on the elevation.
A large opening leading to the block courtyards in each of the façades that face onto the interior pedestrian street, gives more light, sun and space to the street.
Aged-copper panels were used for the lightweight, suspended, back-ventilated façade for the offices, while a curtain wall was built on the inside with a service gallery in-between for maintenance, which allowed the window openings to be designed without restriction.
The sides of the office façade were designed with the same skin system and finished in lacquered aluminium in a different colour.
The building services are centralised on the roof in visible blocks that highlight their presence.


imagen-principal Location: C/ Alvaro de Luna. Cuenca
Owner: Castile-La Mancha Regional Government, Department of Education and Science in Cuenca.
Final design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem
Date: 2005

A linear design was proposed for this drab urban environment backing onto the railway line. Volumes of different composition, colour and size were placed as far away as possible from the noise of the railway, stating their urban presence as if they were a series of different buildings.
The different functions housed in the school were addressed by designing discontinuous blocks connected by the school entrances that are recessed from the façade.

These entrance blocks are high, well lit spaces that connect the different functional areas of the school.

The gymnasium and dining hall at the ends are higher inside and surround the classroom block which is protected by triple-height porches with stainless steel mesh acting as a solar curtain.

The building was built without the design team.


A 11633
Location: Alcorcón Campus. Rey Juan Carlos University, MADRID.
Owner: Rey Juan Carlos University
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Antonio Mata Mesa
Construction supervision José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Antonio Mata Mesa
Date: 2005-2007

Following the example of prestigious educational establishments in other countries, the university decided to build rent-to-own housing for teaching and administrative staff on the same Campus.

The design of the typologies and their layout on the plot differed from the norm in terms of municipal planning regulation requirements. A detailed study had to be presented to change the planning regulations to allow the blocks to be articulated so that the pedestrian and vehicular accesses could be combined and limited in order to create pleasant outdoor spaces with a certain degree of privacy from the street.

The buildings are arranged in two blocks with a double row of dwellings and a pedestrian and car park entrance in the centre of each block.

Entrances are located in the middle of the two rows via a central pedestrian street, which also communicates with the play areas and pools.

The design generates the maximum amount of free space possible, producing an atmosphere and scale in line with the surroundings. The free spaces themselves can be enjoyed for relaxation and used for circulation.

The design of the communication cores, placed between the dwellings, also enhances the space, with bridges between the different blocks and direct access to the ground floor dwelling from the interior pedestrian path. The space is thus more urban and user-friendly, providing vertical communication with a minimum number of stairs and lifts.

The university proposed three types of home, with a specific design and layout for each type. All the homes have a private, secluded outdoor space, with direct access from the entrance.

The living rooms and kitchens face the busier outside areas and bedrooms look onto the quieter central pedestrian path. An attached study, with air and light from two directions, adds space to the living areas, endowing the homes with a complementary multipurpose area.


Owner: Móstoles Land Institute (IMS). Móstoles Town Council, Madrid
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Antonio Mata Mesa
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem
Date: 2004-2007

Móstoles Town Council’s municipal housing company (IMS) invited a restricted number of teams with proven experience in social housing design to tender for the project. Our team won the contract.
The project was for sixty temporary accommodation units to be rented by the elderly and young people, aimed at low income families.

The units were designed in four rows, arranged like the sails of a windmill around a central space, three of the blocks having two storeys and one block three. This layout maximised free space on the plot, creating a large private area inside the complex which could be used as a common space, where the different generations can enjoy each other’s company.

For optimal use of the available land, just one vehicle access leads to all the units from the road. Entrances are thereby not repeated while the basement level facilitates vehicle access and parking, leaving the surface of the plot free and aiding pedestrian movement and enhancing the functioning of the municipal road network.

Units for older people are located on the ground floor, with direct access to outside gardens and tree-lined spaces, while the young people’s apartments are on the first and second floors.

All the housing units are reached via covered exterior galleries on all levels with four stair wells and two lifts providing vertical connection to all floors.

All the units have the same facilities, comprising a living-dining room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The bathrooms/kitchens are located one above the other, combining and centralising building services. The position of the living rooms and bedrooms is switched around on the different levels and are reached via covered access from the common galleries.

In addition to the apartments described, a covered common area was designed on the ground floor, near the main entrance, for meetings, services, laundry, etc. The common and centralised building services facilitate efficient and economic energy management.

A semi-industrialised construction system was used with prefabricated and standardised components on a structural fabric erected on site, which enabled construction costs to be kept to a minimum.


Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Antonio Mata Mesa
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Antonio Mata Mesa
Date: 2002-2004

The University launched a public design tender, which our team won.

The design is based on the idea that a modern university library must comprise transformable spaces that are as flexible as possible, in order to cope with constantly emerging new technologies, such books that are gradually being replaced by computers or learning and consulting procedures that mutate. These were the determining factors when designing the building as a large, multifunctional container capable of incorporating future changes naturally and openly.

The design lends great importance to the use of natural light and the location of rest, sitting and waiting areas, which are placed in particularly pleasant spaces next to the work and study areas.

Standing on the main University Campus axis and clearly visible from the campus entrance, clear and well defined volumes and materials were called for that would be consistent with functional requirements, while defining the building as a library.

The main entrance to the library is highlighted by a horizontal, suspended volume, housing the main entrance hall and rest area. The rest of the building is visually and functionally differentiated into three separate volumes, each with different exterior materials.

The large reading room is a stone-faced prism that almost appears to be closed to the outside world, and is the core of the library.
An atrium cuts through this large, three-storey space, opening out at ground floor level like the light shining through the skylight. Vertical communication is made visible through the glass surrounding a cylindrical staircase and backed up by auxiliary communication and the corresponding services.

The whole building is centripedal, tending towards a bright and warm interior, emphasizing a library’s qualities of concentration, calm and study.


imagen-principalLocation: Avenida Juan Pablo II. TORRELODONES (MADRID).
Owner: Torrelodones Town Council, Madrid
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Francisco Javier Morla Juaristi
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Francisco Javier Morla Juaristi
Date: 2002-2004

The building was originally a private sports and recreation club, erected in the sixties. The architectural quality could still be appreciated when it was handed over to the town council although it had undergone alterations and was seriously deteriorated.

The refurbishment designed would enhance the original architectural qualities and at the same time restore and upgrade the building for public use.

The project covered all aspects from building services, interior and exterior finishes and structures, to access.

Being located in a highly visible spot, the renovation of the outside was very important. Bearing this in mind, some of the original materials were reused while new ones were carefully selected.

The selection of plants and the treatment of the hard landscaping around the main building were also significant, restructuring the extensive plot surrounding the building.


imagen-principalLocation: Calle Angeles de las Heras, (MADRID).
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Eduardo Paniagua García-Calderón
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Eduardo Paniagua García-Calderón
Date: 1988-1990

Against a complex urban background among a huge variety of building types, the design opted for the more attractive aspects of the traditional environment of Madrid’s former working-class housing schemes, i.e. an intricate interior arrangement where an open layout allows spaces to overlap smoothly, both horizontally and vertically, at the same time retrieving a modern language of expression pursuing a rationalist tradition struggling for survival.

Each house is different, yet they manage to look like a single, assertive and well defined building on a rather chaotic urban horizon.

The balconies at the back are staggered to give a wider view of the private gardens while the façades, cantilevers and openings correspond to interior spaces that combine double height and good, natural central lighting achieved through skylights.

Additional space bordering on the street, with separate access, is used for business purposes while at the same time providing extra usable outside roof space for houses with relatively small gardens.


imagen-principalLocation: Calle Almanzora, (MADRID).
Design: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Eduardo Paniagua García-Calderón
Construction supervision: José Enrique Fombella Guillem and Eduardo Paniagua García-Calderón
Date: 1982-1985

Located in the leafy suburbs of Madrid, these houses stand out among the surrounding uninspiring houses all with pitched, tiled roofs.

The concept was, however, classical, reflecting the villa tradition from Palladio to Le Corbusier, which was then steered towards the presence of a modern architecture in a somewhat ordinary and boring environment, suggesting a different way of living.

Their solid geometry, white volumes and staggered profile reinforce the presence of urban living in a non-urban environment.

Designed for four families with different needs, the interior layout was customised, each one being different, while the exterior uniform appearance suited everybody.