Competition - Três Vales Housing, Almada
The competition’s rules asked for the creation of a habitational complex destined for rent-controlled apartments in Rua dos Três Vales in Almada. The project had to include three types of apartments (one, two, and three bedrooms), a commercial space, an underground parking lot, and the treatment of the exterior surroundings.
The proposed project is organized into three independent volumes made from three apartment modules, parallel to the streets that limit the plot, and a single story volume for the commercial space in the corner formed by the streets. The staircases were used as a composition element, being highlighted in the volume’s design. They are open to the outside and protected from the elements through perforated steel panels, the same material being used in the balconies' guardrails. There are only two chromatic shades: beige and grey, highlighting the metric of the elevation's composition and integrating the proposal with the surrounding buildings, which are also painted in earthy shades.
The project was created so that the organization of apartments could be changed, in case of necessity, without the changes being reflected in the façades. The distribution of apartment types was made so that the bigger apartments could have an exterior space on the ground floor and two fronts. The one-bedroom apartments only have one front, but they are never turned north. Every apartment has a balcony. The interior circulation spaces have natural ventilation through a solar chimney.
The staircases and the balconies are structurally independent from the rest of the building in order to allow better thermal insolation at a reduced cost.