Case Study 5

User led versus investment led development and the potential of temporary expropriation

Typology 5: never used building

Daniel Pérez Álvarez, José Angel Ayude Fernández, Marta Fernández Busto  

Research Questions
The group investigates the relationships of the council of Coruña, the promoters of the project and competing local media companies and focuses on alternative futures for the two distinct towers of the Someso development.

Research Methodology
The research investigates the complex financial and political relationships involved in the last 35 years of the large scale Someso development. Using newspaper articles the group retrace the development steps and political changes in order to propose possible political and legal strategies for the two towers of the Someso develpment, one for rent with fully furnished appartements and one for sale with only the facade and the concrete construction finished.

Using the “ley de expropiacion forzosa” and the “lei do Solo (DOGA), 2016”, the team proposes a political process of temporary expropriation and adaptions of the original spatial layout as cluster appartements with shared infrastructure in order to create either student, senior citizen or social housing. They investigated the potential of a possible new “user model” of development with the classic “investment model” of development.


O liderado do usuario fronte ao desenvolvemento liderado polo investimento e o potencial de expropiación temporal

Tipoloxía 5: edificio nunca usado

Daniel Pérez Álvarez, José Angel Ayude Fernández, Marta Fernández Busto  

Preguntas de investigación
O grupo investiga as relacións do concello de Coruña, os promotores do proxecto e as compañías de medios locais competidores e céntrase en futuros alternativos para as dúas torres de Someso.

Metodoloxía da investigación
A investigación investiga as complexas relacións financeiras e políticas implicadas nos últimos 35 anos do desenvolvemento a gran escala de Someso. Usando artigos de xornais o grupo traza os pasos de desenvolvemento e os cambios políticos para propoñer posibles estratexias políticas e legais para as dúas torres de Someso, unha para aluguer con apartamentos totalmente equipados e unha para venda con só a fachada ea construción de formigón terminada .

Usando a "Lei de expropiación forzosa e a Lei do Solo de Galicia (2016), o equipo propón un proceso político de expropiación temporal e de adaptacións do esquema espacial orixinal como unidades independentes, con infraestrutura compartida, para crear vivendas de estudantes ou anciáns ou vivendas sociais. Investigaron o potencial dun posible "novo usuario modelo" de desenvolvemento fronte ao tradicional "modelo de investimento".


Javier Harguindey

Interested in uncovering the links between forces that shape the urban environment (social, technical,…) with focus on the demographics and data.

Architect / Urbanist, UDC

Prof. Dr. Placido Lizancos

Interested in building up a research methodology to address key questions on identification and classification of the issue. Interested in understanding what has the "crisis" left behind and to establish a scientific method by which to address it. Interested in exposing academia to "real life" contexts and setting the teaching conditions to ensure that the classroom is not committed to supporting such practice that facilitates such crisis.

Architecture Professor UDC

Scott Lloyd

Interested in understanding the actions, networks and forces that give shape to the city. Interested developing new models of applied research to investigate the issue. Interested in the format of teaching to inform and empower the next generation of city makers.

Architect, MSc Arch ETHZ

Xosé Lois

Interested in analysing what can be done with existed buildings with the notion that each example is of itself a particular context. This takes into account the relations between different components of the systems that shape the building context.

Population and the role of Galicia in state policy where real state is one of the main economic motor of economic growth.

This is a very complex situation, we cannot propose just one question, as the project is develops, questions will appear. What kind of economic model we want? Rental or production? What kind of country do we want? We destroy our productive model and now we have a speculative model based on construction of space

Architect, UDC

Hans-Christian Rufer

Interested to create access to affordable housing. Interested in a multidisciplinary approach that corresponds to the complex environment of housing. Interested to use the architecture studio as a place to integrate the diverse range of partners into site specific projects.

Architect, MSc Arch ETHZ


Dr. Estefanía Calo

Interested in recovering links between the right to housing and the right to the City: both are under threat and both are required in order to achieve urban justice. Interested in establishing Empty Coruña? is a first stage to develop knowledge about how to resist this systemic threat against basic citizen rights.

Sociologist, UDC


Anxo Calvo

Is the market able to solve the problem by itself or should we be looking for regulatory solutions? What regulatory frameworks are available and appropriate for Coruña?

Economist, UDC

Roberto Castro Thome

Interested in the question of regulation as nothing is possible from a single bank with even the ethical banks that are trying to do something having no success. Furthermore interested in the Valuing agencies as they overvalued housing during the creation of the bubble.

Banker, Association Pro-Housing


Fernando Del Llano

Interested in researching the current conditions as an environment issue focusing on energy and economic point of view.

Environmental Scientist, UDC

Ángeles Longadera

Interested in researching energy efficiency, energy “pobreza”

Environmental Scientist, UDC

Urban Studies

Manuel García Docampo

Interested in investigating a research methodology that encompasses the three dimensions of: Agency – Processes – Objects

Sociologist, UDC   


José María Cardesín Diz

Interested in researching urban growth and development of 7 cities in Galicia during the crisis in order to compare them with A Coruña

Historian, UDC


Ricard Leonardo

Interested in researching the formal administrative tools utilised to frame and criminalize “illegal” occupation. Research should take a critical point of view and investigate what people do by themselves to solve the problem.

Architect / Activist


Michael Juan Sierra

Sonia Beltrán

Interested in researching the right to housing

Interested in researching the social problem of the crisis and how these are urban issues

Architecture Students / Mapping team, UDC


Amal Nnechachi

Interested in the human side of the crisis as hauman rights are being undermined. Drawing from experiences of colleagues who have suffered directly from the housing problems.

Cartolab UDC

Alberto Varela

Interested in mapping and understanding the effect of the crisis in the urban context in order to visualize the problem.  In order to identify the problem the social point of view should be taken into account through information tools and extend the study to other cities.

Cartolab UDC

Building Engineering

Santiago López

Interested in researching technical approaches to improving environmental issues and to minimize the environmental impact of empty buildings. There is a social interest in this approach.

We should complete empty buildings taking into account alternative materials and techniques and develop innovative environmental building techniques.

Building Engineer