HOUSING IN ALMADA

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This proposal aimed to provide residents with the maximum possible quality of life through simple architectural strategies of design and planning while minimizing costs and the use of resources.  To strike a balance between high-density and traditional vernacular cities, it became necessary for individual living spaces to become small urban nodes that blended the threshold between the city, public space, and home. As such, this project investigates a new building typology by utilizing proper airflow, access to direct natural light throughout the day, and ample distancing between units. Formally, the building is characterized by cuts in the center of each building’s plan aligning with the southern sun's axis and terraces that resemble a “V” shape. Respective building volumes are divided in two while acknowledging each property’s unique characteristics. 

The central terraces allow airflow through the building, establish a sense of vertical community, and add a shared axiality and communal geometry that ties all of the buildings together. Many of the residents would not have access to air conditioning, so passive cooling was integrated into the plan of the building to allow for cross ventilation.  During our design process, we referenced vernacular buildings in the surrounding vicinity.

These were implemented as design strategies that directly reference regional balconies and terraces typologies as well as the beautiful plaster of Portugal.

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We believed this housing would need to analyze and understand pre-existing relationships between architectural typologies, urban planning, and vernacular buildings. Considering the social context, location, and existing urban fabric as the main drivers of the project, we aimed to create safe and low-cost solutions to integrate social distancing within the buildings, which limited contact between residents. Particularly in the COVID-19 Pandemic, we believed this housing should allow for a new form of flexibility that could adapt to current societal conditions.

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Project year: 2020

Location: Almada, Portugal

Team
Architecture : Alexandre Vicente, Ken Farris

Local Architect: Nuno Carvalho
Structure : Pedro Lindo Guerreiro
Mechanical : Delano Pereira

This project resulted from a long-desired collaboration between two architects with different nationalities and backgrounds living in Osaka, Japan. In the fall of 2020, as the COVID-19 Pandemic was rampantly spreading, we received an opportunity to design a residential complex in Portugal, which allowed us to think of a new housing typology that could alleviate the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. For the duration of the project’s design process, COVID-19’s infection rates continued to skyrocket.

In Portugal, it was incredibly aggressive, forcing a state of emergency and lockdown. In response, we sought to create a space for living that would facilitate the comfortable accommodation of people staying at home for extended durations. The “new normal” forced people to immediately acclimate to a new type of lifestyle to prevent virus infection, with many professions and industries changing their approach to work. Some people began to work full-time from home, drawing a fragile and thin line between working and living space.

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