Photos: João Morgado
Residential Complex at Travessa das Dores
The western zone of Lisbon is characterised by its geographical position, with a favourable exposure to the South and wide visibility towards the Tagus River. In spite of this privileged context, the area of Ajuda exhibits an urban fabric with a valuable coexisting cultural heritage along with ruined buildings and disconnected urban spaces.
This is the case of Travessa das Dores where the demolition of several small buildings in decay allowed the construction of a low-cost housing guaranteeing the necessary conditions for people inhabitation, improving health and comfort standards not only for its dwellers but also for this area of the city, promoting the cohesion and quality of the urban fabric.
The houses are attributed according to the Program for Agreed Rents of the Municipality of Lisbon that offers an intermediate rental market, directing the supply of homes to households in a situation of housing shortage, and thus creating conditions for fixing these households in the city and allowing young people and population with lower incomes to have access to affordable and quality housing. This program intends to promote not only the city’s rehabilitation and revitalization, but also a more inclusive and democratic housing program.
The three storey building design follows the existing street outline with its main facade aligned with the buildings at the top of the street and ensuring, at the bottom of the street, the closure of the block. The building mass is thus punctuated transversally by three voids (which coincide sometimes with passages between public and private space or in the upper levels allow the extension of the apartment next door), creating visual links between the neighbourhood’s public space and the private backyard, conceived for building dwellers common use and fruition and supposed to incorporate vegetation and climbing plants throughout the stairs.