Beyond-the-family Kin
A project by Ignacio G. Galán + OF Architects (Alvaro M. Fidalgo and Arantza Ozaeta)

Beyond-the-family Kin is a platform for empowering aging. It operates within a network of infrastructures shaping a renewed social movement for aging in place. Countering the increasing isolation of older residents or their subjection to institutionalized forms of residence, the project hosts diverse forms of care across generations beyond the nuclear family both within and outside the house and furnishes technological and financial strategies supporting the life of its occupants.
Located at the end of a row of single-family houses in the outskirts of the city, the project combines diverse living arrangements in each of its three floors, with different degrees of autonomy and interdependence between them. While none of them neatly responds to the needs of the hegemonic family, together they facilitate kinship-in-the-making: the first floor, accessed through the street through a short ramp, contains a sequence of spaces for an aging couple with increasing mobility difficulties; above it, a pair of rooms flanking a living space are planned to host the couple’s frequent visitors within their extended and chosen family; the lower level is organized as a one-bedroom apartment that the couple could rent to pursue financial stability or might host an attendant should they need one. The proximity of the city’s main university campus could also lead to rehearsing models that connect students and aging individuals for affordable housing, shared resources, and mutual care. Ultimately, Beyond-the-family Kin counters constructed notions of the family house as an autonomous and stable social unit while acknowledging the relations of dependency between the inhabitants and their social and material environments.

A cascading sequence of terraces enhance a range of ecologies and activities hosted within the project, creates opportunities for socialization between the different occupants of the residence, and grounds the house within diverse networks of the neighborhood. The front terrace, which the project privileges, enables a strong connection with the street and favors the formation of a loose community of neighbors— countering current design strategies for row-houses in the area that favor of a more secluded backyard. A number of rolling pots and a beehive in the roof terrace are part of a system of urban farms which prevails in the neighborhood in spite of its recent parcel subdivisions and densification while other gardening opportunities are distributed throughout the project. A small pool serves for exercising for the residents and their friends. With a ridge silhouette in dialogue with suburban industrial facilities and its stark color palette, the house seeks to attain certain centrality in the neighborhood in spite of its small scale—as a key node of its social life. Neither nostalgic of old forms of sociality nor submitting to the contemporary isolation of aging populations, the project celebrates open and malleable linkages and affiliations.

Finally, a number of interconnected formal and technological strategies favor the energy efficiency and environmental quality of the project. The house’s complex volume allows the majority of its rooms to open in more than one façade, facilitating cross ventilation and natural cooling, which are enhanced by the staircase operating as an air shaft. Operable windows in the living room’s sawtooth roof enhance both lighting and ventilation in this key space. Automatized louvers in the windows control heat gains and lighting from different orientations. A prominent structure in the roof optimizes the orientation of the solar panels that power an extremely efficient system of heating and cooling radiating floors. Combined with a rear-ventilated curtain-wall tile facade with rainscreen ceramic cladding and corrugated steel panels, these systems guarantee that no AC will be needed in the project even in the extreme weather of Madrid. Conceived as overlapping approaches to empowering the life of its aging occupants, these strategies are additionally committed to preserving the rights of future generations.


Architecture: Ignacio G. Galán, Alvaro M. Fidalgo, and Arantza Ozaeta
Collaborators: Ana Herreros Cantís, Natalia Molina, Paula Rodriguez Vara, Pablo Saiz del Rio
Quantity Surveyor: Jorge Chico Jimenez
Structural Engineers: Mecanismo Ingenieria
Date: 2023
Location: Madrid, Spain
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Rocío Romero + Miguel de Guzman)


Architects: Ignacio G Galan, O.F. Ozaeta. Fidalgo.

igg – office for architecture New York / Madrid

Ignacio G. Galán is a New York based architect and scholar, Principal of [igg—office for architecture]. His work considers architecture’s role in the articulation of society. He is particularly concerned with the architectures of residence; their relation to processes of cultural and material circulation and population transience; and the objects, media, and institutions transforming their occupation. The designs of his firm have been awarded in competitions including the First Prize for the New Velodrome in Medellín, and he was finalist to the 2014 Iakov Chernikhov Prize. His work has led to the production of several publications and exhibitions including the installation Cinecittá Occupata for the 2014 Venice Biennale by invitation of the general curator Rem Koolhaas, and is part of the permanent collection of the Pompidou Center.

His work unfolds through diverse media and platforms and is continuously informed by different kinds of conversations and collaborations. Together with the After Belonging Agency, he is the Chief Curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale (Graham Foundation Award 2015). He previously collaborated in the research project Radical Pedagogies, led by Beatriz Colomina at Princeton SOA, and has co-curated its exhibition at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale and at the 2014 Venice Biennale, where it was awarded a Special Mention of the jury.

He is a Term Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture at Barnard+Columbia Colleges, and has previously taught studios and seminars at Columbia GSAPP and PennDesign. He trained at ETSAMadrid and TU Delft, and graduated as a Fulbright Scholar from the MArchII program at Harvard GSD. He has been a Fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome, and is completing a PhD in Architecture History at Princeton University.

141209 tallerde2 retratos 004

Avenida de Valladolid 17 Bº C
28008 · Madrid · SPAIN

Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar (1982) and Álvaro Martín Fidalgo (1980) head TallerDE2 Architects since 2008, a Madrid based office for architecture, urban planning and landscape design. The office makes an ongoing commitment to research and knowledge, both in training and innovative practice. Their work has international scope, been recognized, published and awarded on several occasions.

Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Alvaro Martín Fidalgo’s work is mainly developed between Spain, Germany, Italy and UK, where they are teaching, researching and building recent winning competitions. They studied architecture at the Madrid Polytechnic ETSAM and at the TU Delft of The Netherlands. They completed the coursework for the PhD at the Madrid Polytechnic ETSAM in the Department of Advanced Projects in 2010 where they are PhD candidates.

Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Alvaro Martín Fidalgo have been recognized with the international award Bauwelt Prize 2013, the prize COAM Luis M. Mansilla 2013 and Finalists at the XII Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennale 2013, for the project ‘Haus der Tagesmütter’.They have been prize winners in several competitions, among which the following can be highlighted: they won the european competition Europan-09 in Selb (Germany), where they are developing an entire urban strategy for a “shrinking city” through the Urban Acupuncture principle. As the result of the implementation of this competition they have completed the project ‘Haus der Tagesmütter’, as well as the project ‘Youth Club and Youth Hostel’, which is currently under construction. They have won the ‘IQ Experimental Collective Housing-Wohnquartiere’ in Germany, which is currently under construction. They were selected at the international competition for ephemeral urban gardens in Bilbao for their winning project ‘Green Cave’, which was realized during the event. They were finalist in the competitions for the wineries ‘Señorío de Villarrica’ and ‘Rothschild & Vega-Sicilia’.

They have been teaching at the Architectural Association School of Architecture-Visiting School Programme (UK), Architectural Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain), Hochschule Coburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Ural State Technical University of Ekaterinburg (Russia). In addition, they have actively participated in debates, workshops and lectures. Several of their models have been shown in the Architecture Gallery of the international magazine ‘El Croquis’ and their work has been selected to be exhibited in different places and events in Spain, Germany, Austria and Italy.