“Rainha D. Leonor” Social Housing Quarter
Porto, PT . 2005-2013
Built in the 50’s above the Douro’s mouth, the Bairro Rainha D. Leonor, went thru an unruled process of appropriation and transformation of its buildings and yards. An inevitable and understandable process, considering the small size of the original houses and their compartments, unable to respond to needs and ways of life of their inhabitants. As a result, the neighborhood’s urban image was degraded and became discontinuous.
Even so, on a closer look, the neighborhood reveled a strong hidden identity and a great capacity of regenerate and answer the program established by the Municipality, with the purpose of improving the quality and habitability of the houses, yards, common spaces and conformity with present regulations.
The intervention’s global strategy aimed to return homogeneity to the buildings and exterior spaces of the estate. Therefor, after removing the additions, inside the plots and public spaces, the project searched to reapply the rules and materials of the original construction, in two complementary lines of work: the houses and the open spaces.
The interventions on the buildings tried to minimize the impact on the existent, preserving the volumes and not introducing significant changes on their image, despite of the profound typological changes of their interior. The accesses and the majority of the components, such as doors and windows, were recovered or substituted by similar pieces, when necessary. In the open spaces, public or private, the same principle of continuity was applied, the added constructions were demolished and the existing granite was recovered to build pavings, walls and exterior stairs. Simultaneously, green spaces were introduced as a continuous network, crossing both private and public spaces.
Inês Lobo with João Rosário, Rita Zina, Pedro Oliveira, Pedro Carta, Gilberto Reis, Julia Varela, Emanuel Romão, João Vaz, Rafael Marques, Sérgio Silva, Sérgio Pereira
Structures and Installations: AFA Engenheiros Consultores
Photographer: Leonardo Finotti
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