Olhos de Vidro Social Housing

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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 form of the building comes from the urge of creating a facade for both of the streets and therefore creating a corner-building. The building incorporates 28 typologies; them being 14-one-bedroom apartments; 6-two-bedroom apartments; and 8-three-bedroom apartments.

The form of the building allowed for the creation of a private patio which not only gives access to the 14-one-bedroom flats giving them a more reserved entrance but also provides a reserved garden area for its residents. The building was staggered in its extremities to allow for a larger incidence of natural light in the garden throughout the day.

Given the unusual form of the building the proposal intended to create a strong rhythm that could break the round plane of the facade and turn it into an experiment creating different points of views for the apartments given its wide views into the horizon. Nonetheless, the geometry generated by this rhythm allowed for the creation of balconies for its residents giving the building both a unique and strong character.

Alcaniça Social Housing

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Almada, Portugal

NACIONAL COMPETITION – Awarded 2º Prize.

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.

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

Renders: Ian Alves

Rue Veneau Apartment

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Paris, France

This Project is in a late 70s building apartment the 7th neighbourhood in Paris, for a French couple and their daughter. The apartment had three bedrooms, one directly accessed by the main hallway and the other two shared a private hall. The couple wanted to maintain the amount of rooms and wanted to add a social bathroom. This was couple had a very bohemic spirit and it was important to them that the flat reflected their way of living that space, airy and integrated. Furthermore, the couple wanted their home to complement their art collection with raw materials and warm woods. Their social agenda reflected the need of having a separated kitchen, and a spacious entrance hall. The apartment originally had a large verrieres and balcony facing a public garden with beautiful greenery that would come in the living room.

This project for us was a challenge because we understood that it would be about architectural pieces of design and artistic composition space, textures and materiality. In our first meeting they expressed their love for travel and in particular, their love for travelling by train. We though to bring this spirit inside their home, and this inspired us to create a warm wooden panelling that would enclose large closet space and the kitchen, with a flute textured glass windows on the sliding doors similar to train cabin doors. This glass was purposely chosen to both hide the kitchen letting the light come through and to give this sensation of a moving train car. Opposite to the kitchen door a bench element covered in a carpet texture was designed to serve as a room divider between the entrance and the living room, and in a similar manor a standalone bookshelf and desk also create an interface between the hallway and the dining area. Due to the antique heating systems the apartment level was slightly higher than the veranda which led us to propose a long bench and seating area which would serve to the inside living area and the exterior veranda. This bench would be in natural stone to both contrast and compose with materials of the fireplace and furniture. 

A designed sculptural element comes to cover the original fireplace that would give the room a focal point. This fireplace was covered by a hand-made tile with a cracked effect in off white which when not being used would also be reflect the movement of the trees and light inside the living area. In order to make reference to this element, we also used the same tile to cover the social bathroom which was purposely curved. The kitchen in a corridor disposition was thought in a rough rugged textured granite which leads to a booth seating area next to the window. The rooms were kept in a similar texture palate and give unity to the apartment as a whole.

Sections
Concept
Floorplan

Da Fonseca Apartment

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Lisbon, Portugal

The historic character of the buildings in Rodrigo da Fonseca Street are remarkable, thus they are characterized by the Cross of St Andre type of structure, a system that was sought to enable the buildings to survive earthquakes. Nevertheless, and despite its urban context and historic facade and height of the ceilings, the building had been stripped of its historic caché and decorative details and embroidery. The apartment had suffered a refurbishment in the late 90s where all of the original walls were covered in plasterboards in an attempt to cheapen the costs of the renovation and straighten the slanted ancient walls.

It was fundamental to us to bring some sort of charactergiven its lost identity, which we could nor bring back or fake. The client was also quite determined to have a contemporary feel in his home, with an organic integration of the social areas. The kitchen was then placed in the heart of the plan, and in order to integrate and make this heart beat, the project proposed a functional closet corridor divided from the kitchen by an exposed structural and historic element of the flat, the St Andre cross. This wall of closets dissimulates the entrance to the private suites of the apartment.

In the living area the client also wanted a place where he could watch television, nonetheless a also a space that would revolve around the television. Hence the creation of a central element of the room comes to hide the television and creates a series of closet areas that are dissimulated as a decorative element.

The project now has the social area of the flat entirely facing the street facade and dialogs with the beautiful Jacaranda trees, typical of the Lisbon city centre.

Transformation
Floor Plan

Photography: Ricardo Oliveira Alves

Bridge View Penthouse

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Lisbon, Portugal

The story behind this project was to make it into a pied-à-terre in Lisbon for a joyful couple who loves to cook and host dinner parties. Programmatically speaking, it was bound to have two very distinct partitions, the private and the social, where a wooden curtain-wall separates and hides the accesses to the suites and the guest restroom.  

This apartment, despite the initial plan having a series of enclosed rooms, which seemed incompatible to the openness and vastness of the unique views over the city, the Tagus River and the 25th of April Bridge. These beautiful views felt in some way trapped in these small spaces, and they needed to breathe, to be felt and revealed.

The desired fluidity of the space and framing the views inspired us to play with the concept of gravity through design. Hence, the idea of an open space, joining the dining and the kitchen into a single experience, a 5.5m long island, which morphs into a ship-bow-like cantilever dining table overlooking the Tagus River.

In the newly opened-plan living area we created a piece that would serve as a marked viewpoint along the central axis of the living room window, a place for contemplation of the framed 25th of April Bridge. Once more we played with fluidity and gravity, but this time in the form of a floating bench, which from the piece for contemplation of the bridge view becomes in itself the piece of contemplation.

We wanted to push the limits of this piece, and this was done through its materiality to achieve the lightness and fluidity intended. And this is where the mind games begin, the “trompe l’oeil”. After all how can a marble bench be in a 3-meter cantilever?

Diagrama
Floorplan

Photography: Fernando Guerra

115North Apartment

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Brasília, Brazil

The objective behind this project was to create a home for a bohemian couple. The challenge was to create a space comfortable enough for two people to live within the available space, but also big enough to host house parties.

The context of this building is a typical 115th Superquadra of  the North Wing in Brasilia, Brazil. Like any of its kind the abundant greenery is present in the windows facing the social areas of the apartment. The plan of the apartment had suffered modifications, where the only windows in the social area were pushed outwards, eliminating the original balcony and making the internal spaces extremely deep and lacking of proper lighting and ventilation. The apartment was originally a three-bedroom flat, and given the flexibility in the brief, we proposed eliminating the third room since it would change drastically the quality of their living areas.

We began by bringing back the balcony and transforming the former room into the dining area, which is visually connected to the kitchen by a wooden panel—the panel crosses the living area, secludes the private programme and integrates the entire social area, hence the choice of an open kitchen. We had clearly understood that the flexibility of a growing and shrinking space was a design problem, so we designed a sliding shelf that would encapsulate a bench, which would only be revealed in a social setting, once the shelf was pushed towards the wall for a larger living room.

Conceptually, the materiality of this project was a key element in its design. The marble and wood in the dining area were purposely replicated in the kitchen, giving the apartment space the desired unity and informality. The tile is extremely present in the history of the Brazilian capital and Brazilian modernism. where artists such as Athos Bulcão and Candido Portinari have inspired a generation of younger artists to create bespoke tiles and artistic panels. Thus, we invited local artist João Henrique into the project to elaborate panels for the dining and kitchen, in opposite ends of the flat, reflecting the light and shadows from the trees of the Superquadra.

Transformation
Sections
Pannel Diagram
Plan

Photography: Haruo Mikami

Setubal Townhouse

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Setubal, Portugal

This project consists in a conversion of a historic townhouse in the centre of Setubal for a private investor. The project entails a complete refurbishment including a general update of the infrastructure and punctual structural reinforcements of the façade and interior.

This house was in a state of ruin, and had previously been segregated vertically into two apartments, one in each floor. This shift led to a mischaracterization of the original volumes and the removal of any sort of ornament of historic value in its interior.

Our intervention here consisted in making the underground floor inhabitable given its initial the height of 1.5m, and making the roof level inhabitable in order to expand the net square meters of the house and make the most of the programme. The initial programme consisted in three suites, a large living area with an open kitchen.

The proposal subdivides the use by floors, the ground floor consisted in all of the social-related rooms; such as the living room, dining and kitchen. The second floor would be two suites for children, and the third floor would house the master suite with the new verandas. Lastly, the underground floor has a large family room that can shifted into a large guestroom. This floor has also a large laundry room with spare closet space for the house.

This house had originally an exterior atrium, this atrium in the project functions as a chimney of light and gardens that permeate the different floors of the house. It was important to play with the internal volumes to create the unexpected elements of surprise and hence the creation of a two floor atrium with a mezzanine and a sculptural staircase that connects the lower floor and the upper floor. This staircase had to be disconnected to the upper floor to allow for a private and open plan setting in the master suite. 

Plans
Old and new facade
Facades
Sections

Renders: Ian Alves

Carcavelos Housing

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Cascais, Portugal

“We must cultivate our garden”

– Voltaire (1759)

The concept of the project resides around a garden as a catalyst and generator of exchanges, the garden being able to provide new experiences, reverie and bring people together.

The creation of the garden emerges as the point of departure, it comes to unite and establish the coexistence between two distinct housing programmes, allowing for the continuity of the public realm as well as the urban fabric. Both housing typologies, the student housing; and the non-student housing, coexist in two distinct angular bodies separated vertically. The student housing access is done through the enclaved garden. The non-student housing access can also be done through the garden level, this will not only promote the often use of the garden but also encourage a more diverse contact of different generations.

In plan, the building contours the bounding intervention limits defined by the local regulations through the creation of two separate, yet intersecting volumes; The larger superior volume is dedicated to the non-student housing and the inferior building is planned for the student housing.

The superior edifice embodies 80 apartments; them being 8 of 3 bedrooms apartments; 32 of 2 bedrooms apartments and 40 of 1 bedroom apartments. All apartments have the right to parking and private storeroom in the garage. The building was designed to guarantee that every apartment in the building would have an ocean view, and that they would have the living areas oriented towards south. With the exception of 16 of single bedroom apartments, these north-facing flats, have a vineyard view and were designed to have glass facade to ensure better lighting and ventilation throughout the year. In the design of the non-student residential part of the project, we proposed that all of the façade facing south would have the right to have a veranda and a long private planter which compose the façade of the building. This was done through the solution of the folding-sliding doors, which allows for the organic extension of the interior social space once the doors are open. In order to contradict the very common drive of people enclosing their verandas, which not only mischaracterizes the architectural aspects of the building, they

Concept Diagram
Exploded Axonometric
Northern Facade
Western Facade
Southern Facade
Location Plan
Section A
Section B
Section C
Garden Level Plan
Ground Level Plan
Apartment Level Plan