Somatic Collaborative has unveiled its design for Neapolitan Housing and Co-working Complex, a new urban block typology located in Gravatai, Brazil, that contrasts the traditional landscape of repetitive housing types that dominate the urban peripheries of Latin American cities. Like a Neapolitan ice cream, the project’s buildings will be layered, housing a variety of residential units and co-working space.
In a drastic shift from typical low-rise residential enclaves, gates, and walled compounds, the project will create high-density urban blocks “that engage the street as a source of urban life” through porous borders that encourage new city centralities. A semi-porous perimeter block with retail and commercial space will allow the project to better interact with its surroundings while designating the distinction between public, semipublic, and private space through the buildings’ masses.
Through mixed-use commercial programming on the first floor, the project will additionally provide direct sources of employment on site. An 8,000 square meters of multipurpose co-working space for the textile and clothing industry will be incorporated here, thanks to a partnership with Plataformadamoda.com.br, a digital platform that links clothing manufacturers to retailers nationwide in order to cut production prices.
A diverse array of residential units ranging from micro-studios to two-bedroom units will occupy the upper floors of the buildings, allowing for a broad range of ages and family structures to thrive. “This plurality of unit types is an incredible asset to the project,” said Roberto Carvalho Dias, CEO of Self-Sustaining Urban Development Fund (SUD-F), and developer for the project. “We are constantly getting extended nuclear families who want to move in with parents, in-laws, etc. but they cannot afford to buy two houses, the idea of combining a two bedroom apartment with a smaller studio apartment addresses this issue perfectly.”
Taking advantage of the steep topography, a series of gardens and open spaces merge the perimeter envelope and the bar into a composite hybrid that makes up the block. A vehicular and pedestrian passageway cuts across the east - west axis of the project, flowing with the topography of the site. Parking is then hidden in the middle of the block. This central spine organizes a series of public, collective and private open spaces that adapt to the topography and minimize earth-work explained Felipe Correa, the lead designer for Somatic Collaborative in a press release.
The initial phase of the project will consist of three urban blocks, which will be a mix of perimeter blocks that accommodate co-working space, and a series of residential bars that promote cross ventilation in hot, humid climates.
News via Somatic Collaborative.