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PROJECTINDEX
HONOURABLE MENTION
BAIXA CRÚZIA
Universidade de Coimbra - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias

Rehabilitation of an area in Coimbra's downtown
The study for this urban ensemble originated in the need to create a rehabilitation strategy for Coimbra's historic core; in the case of this project, concerning the area of Baixa Crúzia.
This area suffers the consequences of a serious problem of vacancy, worsened by the opening of the tram canal. Its buildings find themselves in a serious state of degradation and the housing desertification is obvious, especially during the night time period, when trade shops close, leaving the area absolutely lifeless and, therefore, quite uninviting. This project is developed in three complementary parts. At a first stage, we developed a study of historical and morphological pre-existences. We found several predominant characteristics, which made possible to define 2 types of buildings. Baixa Crúzia keeps many of its medieval characteristics. Its rehabilitation will have to be developed without losing the original characteristics of its buildings given that it is in the repetition of their typological qualities that these buildings possess their patrimonial value. Common features also have similar solutions, which means there was a need to define some project principles that answer the problems existing in the typological models found. At a second stage, we studied the urban relations within this area and realised that, due to its organisational character as long blocks, Baixa Crúzia presents urban problems of insertion and opening to the pedestrian routes in Baixinha. The answer to this problem is the creation of a small pedestrian passage, arranged over a similar route of that of the old Via Romana (Roman Route). Regarding the opening of this passage, weintervene over 3 buildings that, as a consequence of the changes carried out in the ground floor, necessarily suffer other modifications in the following floors. Two of them fall within the defined Types and are an example of the adaptability of the intervention's principles.