Alcaniça Social Housing

Categories Residential
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Almada, Portugal


The project is a proposal for a social housing project in Almada, Lisbon. This competition was promoted by the Order of the Architects South, OASRS and the Housing Institute and Urban Rehabilitation, IHRU. 

 The site is characterized by several horizontal planes sectioned by walls and vertical stairs which break the continuity of the public realm generating a larger segregation of the community. Consequently, there is a lack of quality urban areas and infrastructure enabling a fluid and comfortable pedestrian circulation without walls and barriers. The project proposes to break the current concept of the wall to create opportunities for human interaction to allow for a dialog to exist between the architecture and the city.

The new building rests on these broken walls, which not only direct the pedestrians to the stairs and the upper level, but also creates a receded base which now allows for covered urban resting areas. This simple gesture shifted the relation of the architecture and the street, where it no longer is hidden behind these walls and now is active in making quality spaces for the community and its circulation. On the top of the stairs the proposal is to create a green pedestrian square offering comfort and shading for the neighbourhood and marking the entrance of the new buildings. The creation of the garden-bed coupled to the buildings create a natural filter for a better privacy of the ground-level apartments.

The modular capacity of the project allows for a large flexibility of the housing typologies and programme. Hence, the structure and the vertical circulation core frees the interior allowing for a conjugation of the different typologies on the different floors without compromising the facade, structure and infrastructure of the proposal. As for the typologies, they were thought to optimize its floor area by allowing for wide and integrated spaces and absence of corridors.

Concept Diagram
Neighbourhood of Walls
Staircase Facades
Square Facade
Street Facade
Location Plan

Renders: Ian Alves