The series was launched in December 2013 and is comprised of 10 episodes, each focusing on a different theme: light, stairs, balconies, nature, textures, doors, windows, skylights, pavements and structures.
Last week we presented the series’ fourth episode on Porto's natural environment, and now we present Episode 5 – Textures. Read the producers’ description of the video after the break.
Architect in Charge: Francisco Vieira de Campos (João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto), Cristina Guedes, João Mendes Ribeiro (Menos é Mais Arquitectos)
Project Team: Inês Mesquita, Cristina Maximino, João Pontes, Luís Campos, Ana Leite Fernandes, Mariana Sendas, Pedro Costa, Inês Ferreira, João Fernandes, Ricardo Cardoso, Óscar Ribas, Ana Cerqueira, Joana Figueiredo, João Branco, Filipe Catarino, António Ferreira da Silva, Cláudia Santos, Ana Rita Martins
In an essay and accompanying mini-documentary film by Ellis Woodman for The Architectural Review, Siza's iconic Quinta da Malagueira housing estate (1973-1977) in Évora, Portugal, is comprehensively explored and examined with a refreshingly engaging critical weight. Rather than develop multi-story housing in the sensitive landscape around the city, Siza proposed "a plan that distributed the programme between two fields composed of low-rise terraced courtyard houses." As a result, the arrangement of these structures adjust to the "undulating topography ensuring that the narrow, cobbled streets along which the houses are distributed always follow the slope."
As is made clear in the film (above), one of the remarkable aspects about the Quinta da Malagueira estate is that it is "governed by a third layer of infrastructure" which takes the form of "an elevated network of conduits that distributes water and electricity [...] much in the manner of a miniature aqueduct." For Siza, this was a logical move as it provided the cheapest means of distributing utilities around the complex. Woodman ultimately concludes that "Siza’s work at Malagueira invites a reading less as a fixed artefact and rather as one episode in the site’s ongoing transformation."