Lagarteiro Neighborhood: Urban Renewal of Public Space / Domitianus Arquitectura

© Inês d’Orey

The public space project by Domitianus Arquitectura of this unique urban neighbourhood comes at a time of re-foundation of the modern process, reflecting in its urban structure the main issues from the time it was done. In this housing complex, their design overcomes the idea of urban center, and instead, long sets of “bands” are adapting along the road structure, promoting advances and setbacks of buildings or misalignments in the implementation of several blocks, situations diversity, which take on greater meaning when incorporated into the structure of green frame. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The neighbourhood of Lagarteiro located in the parish of Campanhã in the most eastern city of Porto, borders the municipality of Gondomar. This housing complex, where about 1,300 people reside, consists of 13 blocks with 446 housing units, and its construction carried out between 1973 and 1977. The neighbourhood of Lagarteiro characterized by buildings in band, implanted around an unlevel topography, creates in their morphology, diverse urban situations.

© Inês d’Orey

The urban context of Lagarteiro’s neighbourhood presented before the intervention the typical and classic signs of disqualification of environmental and urban peripheral areas of resettlement. The term “disadvantaged areas” is associated with these areas in urban or peri-urban case, was framed in a specific Portuguese policy, called Initiative Critical Neighbourhoods. The promoter’s intervention of the neighbourhood of Lagarteiro is the Office of Public Works of the Municipality of Oporto, which structured, under public policy, an integrated program of urban renewal, dealing with the social and economic situation of the district.

© Inês d’Orey

There were scheduled 3 major axes of intervention: a first axle, predominantly material, called Urban and Environmental Rehabilitation District, a second axle, clearly immaterial, called Promotion of Active Citizenship, and last axle of an operation and management of the program, called Being Well Network. The tangible and intangible components are inextricably linked, being the own model of control established in order to contribute to the integration processes occur naturally. To reinforce the intervention plan were taken two key steps, including the establishment within the neighbourhood of a support office to the residents, and the development of public and private partnerships aimed at active participation of different stakeholders in the establishment of a strategic development to that periphery fabric of the urban Oporto city. The total value of the intervention was estimated at €€ 2,500,000.00, covering the qualification of public space through a profound restructuring of the road network, the landscaping of open spaces in the neighbourhood and the modernization of the networks of existing infrastructure.

© Inês d’Orey

The whole project represents an intervention of about 7.00 ha, whose guiding principles were: a) Introduction of crossings in the North / South and East / West, in order to promote new mobility flows. For this opened up new links between the neighbourhood and surroundings, and set up a new street in central urban core through rigorous design and precise matching of the topography; b) Ensure footpaths on access to disabled people, enabling greater social inclusion at the level of public space; c)General review of Infrastructure of the neighbourhood, particularly in terms of networks of water, sanitation, security, telecommunications and special importance, public lighting, to avoid areas that are too obscure; d)Definition of a vegetation plan composed of a diversity of tree and shrub types, taking into account the effectiveness and ease of maintenance; e)Establishment of a reduced range of materials, based essentially on granite cubes, yellowish in footpaths and gray in roads. Gaining the support walls was performed using a specially prepared formwork for this purpose, the final aspect is defined by high-reliefs of triangular section, which together produce a kinetic effect when exposed to light.

© Inês d’Orey

So far the results of the intervention are positive and there were no difficulties in implementing the general objectives of the intervention. The success of the intervention assignment has to do with previous desire, expressed by residents, by a rehabilitation intervention of public space and buildings of Lagarteiro’s neighbourhood and also the social work able to mobilize residents to the proposed changes. Despite having been completed the basic objectives by opening the quarter Lagarteiro to its surroundings, there are some adapting difficulties to a few residents to the new paradigm introduced. Although residual, the points where resistance can be observed are the improper parking on footpaths in order to have the car next to the door, and the misappropriation of public space with poor facilities in an attempt to extend the private area at the expense of public good.

© Inês d’Orey

The design, the materials and constructive solutions enable a dilution of the impact of acts of vandalism that may occur; being the best example of this intention the strong expressive identity of the concrete walls, where there is the expectation that their uneven surface can support all sorts of paintings or misappropriation.

site plan

Architects: Domitianus Arquitectura Location: Oporto, Portugal Promoter: Office of Public Works of the Municipality of Oporto Lead Architect: Paulo Tormenta Pinto Team: Rosa Maria Bastos; Collaborators: Ivone Gonçalves and Pedro Baptista Coelho Landscape Architecture: João Nunes – Proap, lda Structure: Miguel Villar – Betar, lda Water and Sewage: Andreia Cardoso – Betar, lda Electricity: Luís Gonçalves- Joule, lda Date: 2008-2011

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "Lagarteiro Neighborhood: Urban Renewal of Public Space / Domitianus Arquitectura" 21 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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