“We must cultivate our garden”, Voltaire (1759)
The concept of the project resides around a garden as a catalyst and generator of exchanges, the garden being able to provide new experiences, reverie and bring people together.
The creation of the garden emerges as the point of departure, it comes to unite and establish the coexistence between two distinct housing programmes, allowing for the continuity of the public realm as well as the urban fabric. Both housing typologies, the student housing; and the non-student housing, coexist in two distinct angular bodies separated vertically. The student housing access is done through the enclaved garden. The non-student housing access can also be done through the garden level, this will not only promote the often use of the garden but also encourage a more diverse contact of different generations.
In plan, the building contours the bounding intervention limits defined by the local regulations through the creation of two separate, yet intersecting volumes; The larger superior volume is dedicated to the non-student housing and the inferior building is planned for the student housing.
The superior edifice embodies 80 apartments; them being 8 of 3 bedrooms apartments; 32 of 2 bedrooms apartments and 40 of 1 bedroom apartments. All apartments have the right to parking and private storeroom in the garage. The building was designed to guarantee that every apartment in the building would have an ocean view, and that they would have the living areas oriented towards south. With the exception of 16 single bedroom apartments, these north-facing flats have a vineyard view and were designed to have glass facade to ensure better lighting and ventilation throughout the year. In the design of the non-student residential part of the project, we proposed that all of the facade facing south would have the right to have a veranda and a long private planter which compose the facade of the building. This was done through the solution of the folding-sliding doors, which allows for the organic extension of the interior social space once the doors are open.
In order to contradict the very common drive of people enclosing their verandas, which not only mischaracterises the architectural aspects of the building, they are often poorly exploited and end up using the best light and ventilation for storage space. We had to study the proportions and thickness of the facade to allow for a flexibility in regards to the position of the sliding doors; creating either from a balcony to a large veranda. The bulk and body of the facade then allow for each resident to place their window as they please without interfering with the unity and harmony of the whole.
As for the student housing there are 8 residences with 2 storeys which can contain from 6 to 9 rooms. The ground-garden floor is equipped with 50 bike parking spots. Each house is composed of a large common-living, kitchen and laundry area in the ground floor. Each student has the right to their own private suite placed on the upper floor. Whilst designing the project there was a preoccupation with the accessibility for students with reduced mobility, and therefore there are also rooms placed on the ground level of the house.
Garden Level Plan
Ground Level Plan
Apartment Level Plan
Renders: Ian Alves