Colonia Caño Roto

A prime example of 1960s social housing architecture.

The former satellite settlement (Poblado Dirigido) of Caño Roto, a residential development whose construction began in 1957, is a prime example of Madrid’s social housing in that era. The name Caño Roto (Broken Spout) was a reference to one of the streams that flowed through the area towards the Manzanares River.

Until 1950, the area was sparsely populated and its land was primarily agricultural. Madrid’s industrial development and the sharp influx of immigrants, who quickly came to occupy the outskirts of the Spanish capital in shanty towns of substandard housing, necessitated the development of social housing as part of the Satellite Settlement Plan devised by the National Housing Institute (INV).

The Caño Roto estate was structured into groups of collective housing buildings, with six-storey mid-rise buildings and four- to six-storey blocks combined with single-family homes that had back patios. It was built in various phases, in styles ranging from post-rationalist to organic derivatives, with a prevalence of load-bearing walls in the single-family homes and concrete structures and exposed brick enclosure walls in the blocks of flats.

The organic approach taken allowed low- and mid-rise buildings to be placed on the outer face of the street blocks without the taller buildings getting in the way of the lower ones. The groups of low-lying row houses and semi-detached houses lead to patios and narrow lanes reminiscent of a traditional rural environment.

Updated: 18/03/2021

Useful information

Permit procedure

The filming permits to shoot on the streets of the city of Madrid are managed by the Filming Authorization Bureau. For more information on these permits and how to process them, read the How to film in Madrid page.



Read section “Useful information”.

Calle Gallur
Avenida Nuestra Señora de Valvanera
28047 Madrid

Distrito: 10 Latina

Images: Ciudad de Madrid Film Office / Javier Bravo


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