Laís Rêgo de Moraes Guerra
Catholic University of Pernambuco/UNICAP

Project idea

Today's society is characterized by its great diversity, as well as its constant changes in behaviors, thoughts and lifestyles. Such changes are reflected in the family nuclei, thus generating a greater variety of types / arrangements and, consequently, a variety of their needs.

The evolution of family nuclei throughout life is strongly linked to the need for space. Singles who live comfortably in a small environment, when building a family feel the need for more space, as well as a family with many members and that demanded a lot of space, over time with the natural disconnection of its members, ends up generating remaining areas or underused.

In other words, the family cycle is not static, it is constantly changing, and it is necessary to find more flexible housing solutions that adapt to different needs, as well as the constant variation of each family throughout its life.

Throughout history, housing has been seen as an immutable space, with a specific and pre-determined program that is repeated over and over again, the result of an outdated housing ideal that disregards possible future changes.

Currently, due to globalization and the constant technological and social evolution, the change in users, and consequently in their needs, are constant. Each family group or arrangement of co-inhabitants has specific needs and desires, however the current market scenario excludes groups that are outside the "standard" placing them in situations of discomfort and improvisation with what is offered to them.

Contemporary man lives in constant metamorphosis and needs a space that suits his needs, and not the other way around. The proposal of a house using the concept of Flexibility aims to respond to this problem, providing programmatic adaptability, with de-hierarchical spaces, subject to change, and that easily meet the needs of its user.

Architectural flexibility is linked to possibilities. Possibility of changes, readaptations, adapt to a new use, new needs, or even a new concept. It is about the evolution of space and the transformations that it may need.

Project description

Regarding volumetry, the proposal consists of two main volumes (two vertical cousins) aimed at housing use, which are interconnected by the ground floor (whose uses are active, as explained above) and by suspended walkways that allow the passage of users on the upper floors.

Designed to encourage the flow of people inside the lot, the ground floor has dynamic and attractive uses, distributed in such a way as to generate free and green areas that also serve as living spaces, making reference to the internal patios, very common in the surrounding implantations.

Another factor that seeks to bring the proposal closer to the characteristics of the built environment is the presence of the gallery protected by a marquee that accompanies the entire ground façade, with the purpose of approaching the idea of ​​the continuous façades of the neighborhood.

The volumes distributed under the marquee are retreated from the face of the lot, aligned with the neighboring building, on the corner, creating a continuous gallery protected from the weather. In addition, at certain times - more on Rua Barão de São Borja, and less on Rua José de Alencar - the volumes that house commerce / services on the ground floor are interrupted, expanding the visual and physical permeability, inviting the user to access the interior of the batch.

The implementation of the upper volumes, which house the residential units, follow the trend of the surroundings and are aligned with the face of the lot.

Seeking a positive relationship with the pre-existing morphologies, whose parceling of the soil is marked by narrow plots with facades aligned to its frontal and lateral walls, the spaces on the ground floor are marked by the use of septa, sometimes structural, sometimes closing. These elements, implanted in different angles, also generate different views in certain sections, inviting pedestrians to penetrate inside the lot. These elements are highlighted by the use of the color that covers them, derived from the chromatic palette of the surrounding roads.

Using photographs taken in the streets José de Alencar, Barão de São Borja and Rua da Santa Cruz, these were digitally pixelated so that the chromatic tones prevailing there could be identified, which would be applied in these dividing septa and in the pigmentation of the concrete used for the ground floor floor.

The rear portion of the lot had its elevated floor level, where the volume for the cinema (with a capacity for 69 seats) and a living area were also located. In the basement of this elevated area there is a semi-underground parking, with a capacity for up to 19 vehicles, intended mainly for users of the developments located on the ground floor of the building, this space could also help in the income of the condominium, and can be managed by third parties.

The proposal of not having the same number of car spaces as of housing units is based on the principle that the location proposed for the project is characterized by being an important public transport hub in the city, presenting great advantages related to mobility, with bus stops and the Gervásio Pires de BRT Station, less than 5 minutes away. In addition, the wide variety of uses in the surroundings also allows residents to meet their daily needs without having to travel long distances.

The proposed vertical volumes are intended for residential use, divided into two towers of 8 floors (each), and presenting voids that serve as living areas for residents. Each volume has a different spatial organization aiming at a greater typological diversity of the housing units, in order to serve a greater diversity of families (in studio, 2 bedroom +1 duplex, 2 bedrooms, 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom duplex, 2 bedroom duplex, duplex 4 bedrooms and 1 bedroom duplex).

Vertical circulation is present in only one of these volumes, with access to the other through the walkways. In the block where access is made via walkways, the units are structurally prepared to be duplex or have double height, leaving the user to decide which configuration to adopt.

Due to the solar orientation, with one side of the building facing west, it is necessary to use strategies that alleviate this problem, therefore, the circulation in the residential blades is located at the end facing west. In addition, inside the residential units, the areas that receive the most sunlight are used as wet areas, this being the only fixed element in these units, leaving the rest of the spatial arrangement to the user. In this way, the social and intimate areas become more comfortable for those who use them.

Another factor that helps in the protection of the facades is the application of a hollow skin, in perforated metal plate, which helps in the generation of shadows and greater thermal comfort for the building.

In total, the proposal features 50 housing units, divided into eight different types, in order to meet the varied needs of different users. In the layouts presented below, the units appear simulated with partitions and furniture, in order to provide a better view of the project.

According to the concepts adopted in the proposal, it is proposed that these divisions, or their absence, be decided by the user, a fact that would bring an even greater occupational diversity to the spaces presented, allowing more design freedom and generating greater identification among the resident and your home.

Technical information

The land was chosen due to the factors that favor the implementation of a residential building, with elements that support this type of use, such as small shops and restaurants, in addition to the proximity of Av. Conde da Boa Vista, which houses large equipment and is an important route for urban mobility, being one of the main axes of public transport in the city.

The area in which the land is inserted still has a good population density, compared to the neighborhood as a whole, which contributes to social surveillance in the surroundings, in addition to the large flow of people in the vicinity.

The built environment presents a varied template, with a predominance of lower buildings, with up to three floors, and also higher buildings, fruits of the modernization of the area, presenting up to fifteen floors, which gives scope for the application of a character building more vertical, without it clashing with the existing landscape.

The natural conditions of the terrain suggest that the prevailing winds come from the East, reaching the terrain without major losses, due to the predominantly low profile of the surroundings, while the face with the greatest sun exposure is to the west, with the facades facing the José de Alencar and Barão de São Borja the most exposed to the west.

The site in question, Boa Vista neighborhood, is an area of ​​intense pedestrian flow and of great historical and cultural importance for the city, the proposal presented here has as a general principle the use of flexibility strategies to meet the current diversity of configurations existing in society.

This work consists of a proposal for a mixed-use building, whose main theme is architectural flexibility according to Kronenburg (2007) and Brandão (1997), which is used in order to satisfactorily meet the current family diversity existing in society, so that, in the same building, it is possible to shelter different family constitutions and their different demands for spatial organization.

For this purpose, different strategies were used from what was addressed in the thematic conceptualization of the present work, such as adaptive flexibility and neutrality (see pages 45 and 46). The use of adaptive flexibility was due to the need to define the location of some specific areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms and service and circulation areas, which are therefore limiting aspects.

As for service centers, wet areas and circulation of housing units, when well located, they contribute to increasing the flexibility of spaces. Jorge (2012) argued that these rigid areas, with sewage, water and other systems must be concentrated in nuclei, preferably positioned on the peripheries or in the center of the buildings, thus generating greater neutrality in the other sections of the layout.

The limiting areas of the proposal can be defined as longitudinal bands, which linearly organize the areas of sanitary facilities and kitchen. However, even these aspects present a certain freedom of choice by the user, since within this predefined area different spatial combinations can be applied.

In this proposal, these areas were strategically positioned at the ends of the units that face west, serving, together with the horizontal circulation as an element of thermal protection for the other areas of the dwelling.

The rest of the spaces will be endowed with a project neutrality, with environments without pre-established hierarchies or divisions, being able to adapt to different needs of its users, being at its discretion the best way to occupy the environment.

The proposal is structured based on four distinct but interconnected uses: commercial, cultural, housing and leisure. The use of each of these uses was designed to reflect the active and vibrant identity of the building's insertion site, the Boa Vista neighborhood.

The implementation of an active ground floor, with predominance of commercial use, combined with services, brings more movement to the area, reinforcing social surveillance, in addition to generating greater profitability for the project. By allowing pedestrians to pass through the proposed complex, and the active uses located there, a positive neighborhood relationship is created, promoting greater integration with the location, whose commercial nature is evident.

The project also includes the implementation of an area for cultural use on the ground floor, a cinema room, also contributing to the permanent use of the building, as well

how to make the place more attractive to different users. This programmatic component also seeks to bring the culture of neighborhood cinema back to the city of Recife, which, in the 1920s, had approximately 55 street cinemas, justified by the great Pernambuco force in the cinematographic branch of that time, a force that, even with the recent cut by the Federal Government to cultural incentives, it remains alive, producing films such as the recently launched, and internationally awarded, “Bacurau”.

However, due to changes in the way of experiencing cinema, these buildings have been losing space to shopping cinemas and, currently, the only active representative of this period is Cinema São Luís, also located in the Boa Vista neighborhood. (SARAIVA, K, 2013)

On the ground floor there are also leisure areas, with a café located on the corner of José de Alencar and Barão de São Borja streets, a strategic and highly visible place, also helping with the permanent use of the building. Next to the cinema, kiosks with bars and cafeterias were implanted, which could give a greater support to the public who would attend there, in addition to being able to act as a meeting place and interaction for residents.

As for residential use, the proposal for a multifamily set, aims to apply flexibility concepts and strategies in order to promote housing units that meet different family profiles, with a total of 50 units, distributed in 8 types: studio, 2 bedroom duplex +1, 2 bedrooms, 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom duplex, 2 bedroom duplex, 4 bedroom duplex and 1 bedroom duplex. The units are articulated by common areas, containing, in addition to more functional spaces, such as reception, areas for leisure, sports / fitness and food productivity (collective garden).

Even in a central area of ​​the city, widely served by infrastructure and public transport, 19 parking spaces were rented on semi-underground floors (below the cinema). This parking could be rotating or even managed by third parties, generating income for the condominium.

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