The Cluster Habitat project is a micro-residential and urban intervention project located in Matosinhos, taking advantage of a strip of land with the East-West orientation on the cliff above the port of Matosinhos and the Cepsa facilities, which constitute a pre-existence environment with industrial use at a lower level. The implementation of the Cluster Habitat explores the difference in levels to free the points of view of the implementation of the project.
This reuse decision also clearly announces the focus on the project’s sustainability. The reused containers will be the support for the self-generation of solar and wind energy (in their roofs), the capture of rainwater and the reuse of gray water for irrigation and (after treatment) for re-consumption. The urban project proposes a wide green area, with several objectives: to reduce the effect of the urban heat island in the intervention area and in the surrounding environment; the support of urban ecosystems; and the return of a qualified public space to the community.
The irregular design of the implantation area, the pre-existing equipment and the topography, determine a discontinuous implantation, which the project values by creating three clusters (cores) with different morphologies: Ring, River, Mesh, connected by a continuous green space that embraces the clusters and that constitutes a public space of slow mobility (walking and cycling), with connection to the future station of the Metropolitano do Porto.
This concept offers to the apartment a new wide open space. The airy, almost omniscient structure, acts as a light grid pattern of wood beams. In Parallel, the generous space gives the sensation to be filled with natural light. This solution mixing new structure and large openings creates a rupture with the local urban environment.
An intervention, only perceived from the inside was imposed by the municipality regulations since, the area holds ancient buildings with tinny spaces placed along narrow crooked streets. This makes the edifice of Traverssa do Arco quite unusual and unique for the neighborhood.
“This micro-museum by Pedro Ressano Garcia, wisely called “eremitério”, suggests to us an alternative grammar of conception and dwelling. It deliberately drives us close to the constant features of a monastic experience. And we realise that “seeing better” leads us to the act of seeing one polysemy, one rituality and one ethic.
Therefore, we somehow only start seeing when we start noticing. And the same applies to contemplation. Contemplation begins when we accept that we do not know how to see, that our vision is limited and poor.”
José Tolentino Mendonça
With architect Pancho Guedes
Chamber of sound, activated by the tide to listen to the waves of the sea. The circular labyrinth imagined by the world famous architect, Pancho Guedes, in what became is last work.
It was initially planned as a temporary intervention in 2010 within the Allgarve contemporary art program. Pedro Ressano Garcia the commissioner at the time was hired in 2015 to upgrade the whole intervention from temporary to permanent.
“The construction of this chamber of sound to listen to the sea reminds us that listenning depends on learning to listen in itself, because misunderstandings, overlays, fictions, seem to be increased. Listenning demands practice and training.” José Tolentino Mendonça
“The “D” point (of discovery) in Sagres is now called “Voice of the Sea”. The sound, capable of making the gods dream, comes from inside a cave over 50 meters deep. On the surface, a work by the architect Pancho Guedes, in the shape of an ear, is the new landmark in the landscape.”
“The local flora is not interfered by the solution and the site is not invaded by building materials according to the Parque Natural de Sagres e S.
Vicente requirements. (…)”
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“The labyrinth described by José Luis Borges is the topic for the revelation of a powerful experience that challenges our perception of time and space.”
“As Pancho Guedes explains, the labyrinth is like life, we can be lost for a while, but we always get there in the end.”