Alvalade Revisited addresses the need for permanent updating of cities, maintaining their identity and inviting the local population to actively think about the district of Alvalade. It began with a Summer School, which resulted in three projects: Reflection, A Level of Spontaneity and A Naked City.
The departing questions for this project are how could architecture contribute to the development of a critical position towards the future of one of the most successful neighbourhoods in Lisbon, now that the city around it is changing at a fast pace? How could Alvalade build upon its existing structures in order to offer relevant answers to the demands of a present underpinned by problematics -environment, fluctuating density, cultural capital, food production and consumption- which have greatly mutated since the time it was planned while keeping its identity? And how could the potential answers to these questions trigger the questioning of their reality by the inhabitants of the neighborhood?
To address these questions, we propose two moments: a summer school for architecture students where we suggested Architecture to borrow the process of Revisiting from the field of Music and applying it onto the Alvalade neighbourhood. In a second moment, by confronting the local population with the results of this exercise. A tour around three projects for Alvalade, which emerged from the past summer school.
Tutored by Dominik Arni (Arni Enterprise)
From the analysis of the existing street and housing typologies, the students extracted a mirroring mechanism, which they then applied in the vertical sense in order to promote a possible way of dealing with a higher density in the Avenida da Igreja. The project suggests different ways of dealing with the complex character of the avenue and of sharing and occupying semi-public spaces at different heights.
A Level of Spontaneity
Tutored by Francisco Moura Veiga (A FORSCHUNG)
This project departs from the intention of allowing a “neighbourhood life” – the “5 minute city”- to a drastically larger population, building upon the previous project. The public and private spaces at the street level of the building blocks along and around the Avenida da Igreja were reshuffled in order to promote a dynamic take on different scales of business and production, different interpretations of local and regional mobility, and different takes on the use of exterior space and the public realm.
A Naked City
Tutored by Ricardo Lima (Girão Lima Arquitectos)
Looking at the informal structures of the courtyards, back-gardens and backstreets of the neighbourhood, this project questions the notions of continuity and property by promoting a continuous read of these elements as semi-coherent networks, building up a park, a set of stages or even a shared, gigantic pool out of previously segmented parcels.
The one week workshop consisted of an intensive course on the proposed methodology, a day of conferences by architects who work with similar processes -José Neves, Paulo Tormenta Pinto, Sam Jacob and François Charbonnet (Made In)- and a final day with critiques by guest architects, image producers and local politicians -Thomas Padmanabhan, Julia Albani, Luca Martinucci, Lucinda Correia, Thomas Paturet e José António Borges, president of Alvalade’s Civil Parish.
For the second moment, a spread in the neighbourhood publication promoted by the local civil parish, freely distributed to all the inhabitants, will be taken over by the projects. Alongside this large-scale editorial take-over, a limited publication containing the totality of the projects and key inputs by the invited lecturers and jury members will be published during 2020.
With these two complementary moments, we expect the students to be able to present a number of proposals which reposition Alvalade within the current context in an unimpeded way and to trigger the inhabitants of the neighborhood to revisit their realities in an engaging manner, questioning it, acting upon it, gaining a more informed appreciation of what is there and of what could become of it.
Organization and Curators
Paulo Tormenta Pinto
Lütjens Padmanabhan, José Neves