parque housing

guimarães, portugal, residential

This building is part of an urbanisation plan which is now starting to materialise, and is located in an expanding area in Guimarães, over the Parque da Cidade, and has a markedly residential character.

With a rectangular configuration, its main exposure is to the West and East, which, added to the difference in landscape which creates its installation parallel to a hill (on one side a wide view over the city, on the other, close proximity to the hill), determined the option for two façade and elevation layouts, with very different characteristics.

The decision was then made to radicalize that difference in the image composition of the building.

The characterisation of one and the other elevation is marked in such a way that each one of them expands to the composition of an end, reducing and simplifying the interpretation of the building to practically two images which are related as point and counter-point.

The East elevation adopts the characterisation of a strong vertical plane, folding perpendicularly to the extreme South (to form the end), creating an interpretation of the hill wall to the building´s centre.

In contrast and opposition to this, the West and North elevations, with deep balconies along its entire extension, reinforce the overlapping and repetition of floors and create a space of interior/exterior transition.

The balconies work as visual and functional extensions of the social areas of the housing, with a protection system having been adopted at the lower ground to the West, composed by moveable gateways placed at the end of the balconies and which by their density, stand as a second tenuous façade, incomplete and changing with use, therefore reinforcing the interior/exterior hybrid character of the balcony spaces.

The receding floor is treated as an independent volume placed on the building, therefore as the base, where an obviously different material was used (fixed aluminium sheets), which was able to allow the ventilation of garages and confer unity to the land interpretation, interrupted only to signal the building entrances.

Guimarães, Portugal

design year


José Cunha
Marlene Sousa
Hélio Pinto

Pedro Mendes Fotografia

foundations and structures
Rui Araújo

hydraulic engineering
Rui Araújo

electrical engineering and security