A social housing prototype for a periphery in conflict

Main Materials 

Shipping containers

Timber palettes

Steel beams

Rammed earth



Nuevo Alberdi, Rosario, Argentina



Eira Capelán






From an examination of the process applied by the social Movement Giros when materialising projects in the Nuevo Alberdi, Rosario, this Masters of Architecture thesis design project sets out a parallel methodology whereby three stepping stones -Practice, Solidarity and Knowledge- are taken as fundamental to how the Movement transmits the resonance of their socio- spatial engagement when proposing broader alternative political models. Returning to Argentina in 2014 incorporated further knowledge of Giros’ projects into the thesis, leading to the development of an informed design brief for a typo- logical exercise in social housing for Nuevo Alberdi.


The subsequent site analysis seeks to identify what the design parameters of a social housing scheme on the contested territory of Nuevo Alberdi would be. Therefore, the main conflicts that face the settlers of precarious neighbourhoods of Rosario when constructing a dwelling in the present day climate of social unrest in the city are explored:


  • issues of land tenure confrontation between private developers and settlers

  • an abundance in basic urban services which are under-distributed by unequal infrastructural improvements

  • the constant threat of firearm violence as a result of the raging narcotics war in the city's peripheries


Neighbours of Nuevo Alberdi

Movimiento Giros

Dr Leandro Minuchin

Robert Hyde

Tom Jefferies





To the dissection of these three conflicts, the site analysis adds a collection of knowledges regarding the techno-popular construction practices present in the neighbourhood. Through precedent studies, post occupancy evaluation of existing dwellings and material assessment of Giros’ current housing prototype in Nuevo Alberdi -made out of shipping containers. In this way, the the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of local praxis are juxtaposed with the political resonance methodology and the process of facilitating architecture begins to circulate. 




© Material Politics.