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ARQUIPÉLAGO

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\\DATE 2019 \\CLIENT Câmara Municipal do Porto \\LOCATION Porto \\AREA 25000 \\TYPE MASTERPLAN \\TEAM Diogo Rocha
Duarte Fontes
Lourenço Rodrigues
Rossana Alfieri
Ghazi Ziben
Axel Fangueiro
Giacomo Cruciani
Giovanni Gibertini


ARQUIPÉLAGO

The 1st prize proposal presented in the competition for Monte Pedral district combines a new network of public spaces with innovative forms of contemporary living.

It is an ARQUIPÉLAGO in the middle of the city. A set of urban islands that structures the urban fabric and where the relationship of proximity prioritizes the space "in-between" - a space to be filled by time and people.

Cities are complex entities, spread across the territory in kilometres which shapes reach the sky. However, cities also have human dimensions, where interactions between inhabitants and the space they inhabit are measured in meters.

The size of the streets, the height of buildings, the distance between blocks and the proportion of the neighbourhood space have a huge impact on urban life.

The economic understanding of 'towers', 'residential complexes' and 'housing blocks' leads to the development of isolated entities. The idea of ​​density results in huge buildings that become solid and monotonous. They lack intensity and diversity.

Densification is a fact, but it is also necessary to preserve the well-being of small towns, which are diverse, intense and intimate. This challenge is an invitation to combine large scale with small scale, individuality with collectivity and to encourage a dense and varied network of urban environments. A more social, collective and open urbanity allow people to regain the meaning that some historical or urban centres convey.

How can we generate an urban continuity in which the inhabitant can move gradually between zones? How to encourage a multidimensional space of intensity and diversity? How can we reach a public space full of parks and squares defined by a diverse urban program?

Which are the shapes of the city?

The morphological evolution of cities follows the specific needs of each era and the collective thinking of a society. In modernism, technological developments and the introduction of the car led to the creation of highly rationalized and disconnected models of collective living - typical in the traditional city.

Porto was no exception and the introduction of new international forms and models in the 20th century led to the consequent fragmentation of the city into housing sectors, completely disconnected from the city and the collective experience. The sense of neighbourhood and closeness does no longer exist and promotes to individualism. To counteract this tendency is to respond with a proposal, which collect qualities of various forms and ways of inhabit. Mix instead of divide, diversify instead of repeat.

A morphological balance between public and private, diversity of uses, services, typologies and housing density are the foundations for the sustainable development of the Monte Pedral plan.

The proposal aims to be a mirror of the surrounding environment and of the city’s morphology. The heterogeneous of the built environment will be part of the new set.

The adaptation/requalification of the former military barracks buildings would be impracticable, given the intended construction volume (50,000m²). This fact motivates the demolition of the complex, with the exception of the former Asylum building (to be converted into a student residence), which allows the complete revitalization of the site.

The plan defines lines of continuity with the surroundings, filling the urban grid to the west and defining the road routes to the north and south. To the west, the heritage building defines the urban front. Its volumes will be restructured in the south wing and extended in to the north to integrate the student residence.

The fragmentation of volumes brings dynamism and porosity to the set. The alignment relationships and the agreement with the surroundings informed this operation. This will allow to accede the interior of the block and to enjoy a network of public spaces with varied characteristics.

How to generate public space?

The design of qualified public spaces, with diverse themes and functions, was the major focus and engine of the project. The analysis and categorization of the various public spaces of Porto - squares, gardens, parks and viewpoints - allows the understanding of the distributive logic and the close relationship between the spaces and dynamic zones, and it is possible to define a connection network. Since no public spaces are recognisable in this area, Monte Pedral is dissociated from this network.

The spaces identified on the map arise from the need, over time, to formalize voids. These spaces, regarding their exceptional value in the urban fabric, work as a reference point in the orientation of the city. Functions change according to the specific needs of each time, allowing multipurpose uses.

While on the one hand there is a clear formal definition in the large public spaces, on the other, it is in the informal (usually smaller) spaces that the sense of hospitality and neighbourhood resides.

These spaces are generally poorly defined in formal terms as they develop organically. They adapt to the natural topography of the city and provide spaces for common use.

In this regard, the proposal seeks a symbiosis between the formal definition, characteristic of large spaces, and the informal sense of spaces with natural development.

The geographical and the topographic situation are the deep base of Porto identity. The built environment adapts to the terrain and by the developed mechanisms, the appropriation of space it is possible. Thus, the project sought to synthesize a set of tools that solve the level differences, associated to different functions according to their spatial configuration and cluster relation.

In the first instance, the design of public space overlaps with the design of the built group. The strategy involves the creation of four base platforms, with five meters difference between them, which stabilize the terrain levels. Connected to the main routes along the street, these ensure porosity to the ensemble, while forming boundaries between public and private domain.

An opening of a street to the east, perpendicular to Rua da Constituição, is the pretext to rectify the adjacent building complex and consolidate the urban network. As it brings together street trading and services, a market programme will characterize this opening. The formal composition of the set developed at west of this street will have a logic of progressive fragmentation, adapting to the surrounding environment.

The connectivity with the city through the public transport network motivates the development of plans that prioritize pedestrian access. In this sense, the access to buildings is possible on both – existing streets and on the public spaces network. Inevitably, spaces come into frequent use, which enables the development of social, economic and leisure activities. Despite the heterogeneity of spaces, each one acquires a different hierarchical position. The multipurpose square is the largest space. Situated to the west, the late elevation of the old school asylum, a housing and commerce front and a tower, define this space – a singular element in the set. The last one is valid for three reasons: as an element of place marking (in the city), characterization of the square (as a cluster) and the housing density that allows more area for public space.

Green spaces are also a fundamental element in the composition of the set. They define paths, public-private boundaries and can take forms that relate to the natural topography of the terrain (hills, garden terraces, etc.). Positioned in the centre of the set, the forest will be the highlighted green space, at a hinge point in relation to the remaining spaces.

 

What is the new dwelling standard?

The contemporary way of living is the result of complex social relations that predominate in the age of globalization. If in the past the repetition of a typology was doable to sustainability and demand, today it is not possible to outline a model that serves a common purpose.

Thinking about contemporary housing is to think of flexible, dynamic and sustainable models, both from a socioeconomic and environmental point of view. Thus, the forms adopted are not directly associated with a dwelling typology in common terms, but rather with the notion of a module, a repeating unit that forms a set. This unit, a square of three meters, generates the organizational matrix of the whole set.

The multiplication and combination of this unit leads to the successive creation of apartments, shared spaces, public places and finally, public spaces.

Flexibility, sharing and identity are the basis for future housing production. A flexible model has to consider values ​​such as spatial reconfiguration and the possibility of expansion or reduction. One way is to define the structure and infrastructure of a building to allow the free configuration of the dwellings according to the single needs of each inhabitant.

Housing models with shared spaces are already a reality in European cities and allow a symbiosis between individuality and collectivity. In this way, no longer confined to the areas of access to the dwellings, the common spaces begin to enrich the uses and functions of the housing unit.

Housing models are defined by type of access (vertical, gallery, direct or hybrid). Heterogeneously distributed, the buildings that create the set, answer in particular to the interior-exterior or public-private relationship. The panoply of ways of living gives choice to future inhabitants and enhances social relations of different people.

The regulator module of the entire set has economical construction features as it makes it possible to apply prefabricated logic. This increases the financial viability of promoters and other entities.

The system of principles and the definition of infrastructure ensures the independence of each part and contributes to the organic and natural development of the city.

In a dialogue between municipality, investors, designers, contractors and users, it may be possible to agglomerate parcels to create larger buildings, optimizing construction costs.

 

How to restore the urban neighbourhood?

The relationship between public and private happens progressively. Different programs and functions characterize public spaces and serve both, local community and city.

Considering the contemporary housing standards, there is an increasing need of shared spaces for every day. These spaces, when integrated into the project, greatly increase the inhabitant’s life quality. The housing unit can be, in this way, expanded through functional spaces (laundries, kitchens, work areas, etc.) as well as exceptional housing programs (leisure areas, game rooms, events, etc.).

The 1st prize proposal presented in the competition for Monte Pedral district combines a new network of public spaces with innovative forms of contemporary living.

It is an ARQUIPÉLAGO in the middle of the city. A set of urban islands that structures the urban fabric and where the relationship of proximity prioritizes the space “in-between” – a space to be filled by time and people.

Cities are complex entities, spread across the territory in kilometres which shapes reach the sky. However, cities also have human dimensions, where interactions between inhabitants and the space they inhabit are measured in meters.

The size of the streets, the height of buildings, the distance between blocks and the proportion of the neighbourhood space have a huge impact on urban life.

The economic understanding of ‘towers’, ‘residential complexes’ and ‘housing blocks’ leads to the development of isolated entities. The idea of ​​density results in huge buildings that become solid and monotonous. They lack intensity and diversity.

Densification is a fact, but it is also necessary to preserve the well-being of small towns, which are diverse, intense and intimate. This challenge is an invitation to combine large scale with small scale, individuality with collectivity and to encourage a dense and varied network of urban environments. A more social, collective and open urbanity allow people to regain the meaning that some historical or urban centres convey.

How can we generate an urban continuity in which the inhabitant can move gradually between zones? How to encourage a multidimensional space of intensity and diversity? How can we reach a public space full of parks and squares defined by a diverse urban program?

Which are the shapes of the city?

The morphological evolution of cities follows the specific needs of each era and the collective thinking of a society. In modernism, technological developments and the introduction of the car led to the creation of highly rationalized and disconnected models of collective living – typical in the traditional city.

Porto was no exception and the introduction of new international forms and models in the 20th century led to the consequent fragmentation of the city into housing sectors, completely disconnected from the city and the collective experience. The sense of neighbourhood and closeness does no longer exist and promotes to individualism. To counteract this tendency is to respond with a proposal, which collect qualities of various forms and ways of inhabit. Mix instead of divide, diversify instead of repeat.

A morphological balance between public and private, diversity of uses, services, typologies and housing density are the foundations for the sustainable development of the Monte Pedral plan.

The proposal aims to be a mirror of the surrounding environment and of the city’s morphology. The heterogeneous of the built environment will be part of the new set.

The adaptation/requalification of the former military barracks buildings would be impracticable, given the intended construction volume (50,000m²). This fact motivates the demolition of the complex, with the exception of the former Asylum building (to be converted into a student residence), which allows the complete revitalization of the site.

The plan defines lines of continuity with the surroundings, filling the urban grid to the west and defining the road routes to the north and south. To the west, the heritage building defines the urban front. Its volumes will be restructured in the south wing and extended in to the north to integrate the student residence.

The fragmentation of volumes brings dynamism and porosity to the set. The alignment relationships and the agreement with the surroundings informed this operation. This will allow to accede the interior of the block and to enjoy a network of public spaces with varied characteristics.

How to generate public space?

The design of qualified public spaces, with diverse themes and functions, was the major focus and engine of the project. The analysis and categorization of the various public spaces of Porto – squares, gardens, parks and viewpoints – allows the understanding of the distributive logic and the close relationship between the spaces and dynamic zones, and it is possible to define a connection network. Since no public spaces are recognisable in this area, Monte Pedral is dissociated from this network.

The spaces identified on the map arise from the need, over time, to formalize voids. These spaces, regarding their exceptional value in the urban fabric, work as a reference point in the orientation of the city. Functions change according to the specific needs of each time, allowing multipurpose uses.

While on the one hand there is a clear formal definition in the large public spaces, on the other, it is in the informal (usually smaller) spaces that the sense of hospitality and neighbourhood resides.

These spaces are generally poorly defined in formal terms as they develop organically. They adapt to the natural topography of the city and provide spaces for common use.

In this regard, the proposal seeks a symbiosis between the formal definition, characteristic of large spaces, and the informal sense of spaces with natural development.

The geographical and the topographic situation are the deep base of Porto identity. The built environment adapts to the terrain and by the developed mechanisms, the appropriation of space it is possible. Thus, the project sought to synthesize a set of tools that solve the level differences, associated to different functions according to their spatial configuration and cluster relation.

In the first instance, the design of public space overlaps with the design of the built group. The strategy involves the creation of four base platforms, with five meters difference between them, which stabilize the terrain levels. Connected to the main routes along the street, these ensure porosity to the ensemble, while forming boundaries between public and private domain.

An opening of a street to the east, perpendicular to Rua da Constituição, is the pretext to rectify the adjacent building complex and consolidate the urban network. As it brings together street trading and services, a market programme will characterize this opening. The formal composition of the set developed at west of this street will have a logic of progressive fragmentation, adapting to the surrounding environment.

The connectivity with the city through the public transport network motivates the development of plans that prioritize pedestrian access. In this sense, the access to buildings is possible on both – existing streets and on the public spaces network. Inevitably, spaces come into frequent use, which enables the development of social, economic and leisure activities. Despite the heterogeneity of spaces, each one acquires a different hierarchical position. The multipurpose square is the largest space. Situated to the west, the late elevation of the old school asylum, a housing and commerce front and a tower, define this space – a singular element in the set. The last one is valid for three reasons: as an element of place marking (in the city), characterization of the square (as a cluster) and the housing density that allows more area for public space.

Green spaces are also a fundamental element in the composition of the set. They define paths, public-private boundaries and can take forms that relate to the natural topography of the terrain (hills, garden terraces, etc.). Positioned in the centre of the set, the forest will be the highlighted green space, at a hinge point in relation to the remaining spaces.

 

What is the new dwelling standard?

The contemporary way of living is the result of complex social relations that predominate in the age of globalization. If in the past the repetition of a typology was doable to sustainability and demand, today it is not possible to outline a model that serves a common purpose.

Thinking about contemporary housing is to think of flexible, dynamic and sustainable models, both from a socioeconomic and environmental point of view. Thus, the forms adopted are not directly associated with a dwelling typology in common terms, but rather with the notion of a module, a repeating unit that forms a set. This unit, a square of three meters, generates the organizational matrix of the whole set.

The multiplication and combination of this unit leads to the successive creation of apartments, shared spaces, public places and finally, public spaces.

Flexibility, sharing and identity are the basis for future housing production. A flexible model has to consider values ​​such as spatial reconfiguration and the possibility of expansion or reduction. One way is to define the structure and infrastructure of a building to allow the free configuration of the dwellings according to the single needs of each inhabitant.

Housing models with shared spaces are already a reality in European cities and allow a symbiosis between individuality and collectivity. In this way, no longer confined to the areas of access to the dwellings, the common spaces begin to enrich the uses and functions of the housing unit.

Housing models are defined by type of access (vertical, gallery, direct or hybrid). Heterogeneously distributed, the buildings that create the set, answer in particular to the interior-exterior or public-private relationship. The panoply of ways of living gives choice to future inhabitants and enhances social relations of different people.

The regulator module of the entire set has economical construction features as it makes it possible to apply prefabricated logic. This increases the financial viability of promoters and other entities.

The system of principles and the definition of infrastructure ensures the independence of each part and contributes to the organic and natural development of the city.

In a dialogue between municipality, investors, designers, contractors and users, it may be possible to agglomerate parcels to create larger buildings, optimizing construction costs.

 

How to restore the urban neighbourhood?

The relationship between public and private happens progressively. Different programs and functions characterize public spaces and serve both, local community and city.

Considering the contemporary housing standards, there is an increasing need of shared spaces for every day. These spaces, when integrated into the project, greatly increase the inhabitant’s life quality. The housing unit can be, in this way, expanded through functional spaces (laundries, kitchens, work areas, etc.) as well as exceptional housing programs (leisure areas, game rooms, events, etc.).