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This project started from an invitation from architect Diogo Burnay to design three housing blocks inserted in his project for the Quinta das Correias, at Cartaxo. The promoter, who would himself be the builder, had never previously worked with more detailed scale drawings than 1:100. We wanted to try to do something, taking current commercial building practices in Portugal as our starting point.

Following the volume shape restrictions and uses determined by the plan - a cube of side length 14,50m, with two shops and four dwellings on four floors - we focused, on the one hand, in the relationship between the houses and the outdoor spaces and, on the other hand, in the public spaces of the building (the finishing and details of the homes were determined from the start by the "contingency business" and did not have our contribution).

Thus were defined three key principles that could finally withstand all the vicissitudes and ensure a little more civic and less sad architecture than one might expect:

a) The elevations facing the street would be quiet in order to be urban.

b) The houses would be open to the park through covered terraces, deep and high as salons.

c) The staircase, facing the street, would be designed so that tenants would feel like dwelling in a part of a little urban palace.


Design Team:

Architecture: José Neves

Collaborators: Filipe Cameira, Nuno Florêncio; Paulo Barreto (models)

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