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Each block should relate its functions to the others, each block complementing the other, the reading of the entirety is important without ever forgetting its relationship with the actual town. It is on a more personal and human scale that the concept of “Permeable Blocks” is being explored in Amarante, as an integral part of the day-to-day urban life which has become lost with the passing of time. The “permeable blocks” should be transformed into transitional spaces between the large public space of the street and the private residential space.
Each block should relate its functions to the others, each block complementing the other, the reading of the entirety is important without ever forgetting its relationship with the actual town. It is on a more personal and human scale that the concept of “Permeable Blocks” is being explored in Amarante, as an integral part of the day-to-day urban life which has become lost with the passing of time. The “permeable blocks” should be transformed into transitional spaces between the large public space of the street and the private residential space.

The concept of “permeable blocks” gives the opportunity to create, unveil, free and offer transitional spaces between private spaces, buildings, and the involving public space. In this sense it should be considered as a transitional space between the public and private dominion of the town, with the aim of attracting residents, these being thought of on a human scale responding to the needs of the people who live in the historic centre, and promoting Amarante´s culture with its habits and customs, in order to reinforce the identity of the town seen by the visitor and allowing these visitors to participate, always with a sense of community and solidarity.
The concept of “permeable blocks” gives the opportunity to create, unveil, free and offer transitional spaces between private spaces, buildings, and the involving public space. In this sense it should be considered as a transitional space between the public and private dominion of the town, with the aim of attracting residents, these being thought of on a human scale responding to the needs of the people who live in the historic centre, and promoting Amarante´s culture with its habits and customs, in order to reinforce the identity of the town seen by the visitor and allowing these visitors to participate, always with a sense of community and solidarity.

We have observed the existing programmes in the town and have tried to understand what is missing in order for the interior of the block to respond to its needs.
We have observed the existing programmes in the town and have tried to understand what is missing in order for the interior of the block to respond to its needs.

The proposed development consolidates the block with a volume which creates a route of exhibitions which stretch from the Casa Amarela in the adjacent block. Permeability and routes are created which make the movement slower, permitting the user to spend more time in the spaces in order to look and have impressions.
The proposed development consolidates the block with a volume which creates a route of exhibitions which stretch from the Casa Amarela in the adjacent block. Permeability and routes are created which make the movement slower, permitting the user to spend more time in the spaces in order to look and have impressions.

In order to overcome the accentuated topography, we have created gradients inspired by the vineyards, characteristic of the culture and identity of the place. It is in these gradients that the new functions will be introduced which will help to dynamise its residential function.
In order to overcome the accentuated topography, we have created gradients inspired by the vineyards, characteristic of the culture and identity of the place. It is in these gradients that the new functions will be introduced which will help to dynamise its residential function.

The new functions to be introduced emerge pursuant to the hierarchy of privacy, the most public being the concert café, with rehearsal space and the possibility to extend into the exterior. In the second level of the hierarchy, we propose a communal space with a multifunctional space for work, study and social interaction, where the administration and meeting spaces will also be localised. Finally, in the most private level we propose a reading and eating space, with the possibility of uniting the two functions outdoors and in that way taking advantage of the interior of the block.
The new functions to be introduced emerge pursuant to the hierarchy of privacy, the most public being the concert café, with rehearsal space and the possibility to extend into the exterior. In the second level of the hierarchy, we propose a communal space with a multifunctional space for work, study and social interaction, where the administration and meeting spaces will also be localised. Finally, in the most private level we propose a reading and eating space, with the possibility of uniting the two functions outdoors and in that way taking advantage of the interior of the block.

These functions are organised in three volumes which emerge from the existing topography, in keeping with the gradation of privacy. In other words, in the first place there emerges an eating space in proximity to the neighbouring block where we propose small squares for social interaction amongst the residents, followed by the space for reading and projections, which would share the same garden. Subsequently, the Social Aid and the Administration emerge in a more central zone of the whole block, and finally the more public Concert café, with more activity.
These functions are organised in three volumes which emerge from the existing topography, in keeping with the gradation of privacy. In other words, in the first place there emerges an eating space in proximity to the neighbouring block where we propose small squares for social interaction amongst the residents, followed by the space for reading and projections, which would share the same garden. Subsequently, the Social Aid and the Administration emerge in a more central zone of the whole block, and finally the more public Concert café, with more activity.

These volumes are linked by a corridor of exhibitions which permit drawing in all the residents and visitors to the works of art that are part of the town´s culture. The corridor of the exhibitions gives continuity between the Casa Amarela, which is in the neighbouring block, and the Amadeu de Sousa Museum, situated in the Alameda Teixeira de Pascoaes.
These volumes are linked by a corridor of exhibitions which permit drawing in all the residents and visitors to the works of art that are part of the town´s culture. The corridor of the exhibitions gives continuity between the Casa Amarela, which is in the neighbouring block, and the Amadeu de Sousa Museum, situated in the Alameda Teixeira de Pascoaes.




PROJECTINDEX
NOMINATED
SISTEMA DE QUARTEIRÕES PERMEÁVEIS
Universidade Lusíada do Porto

Permeable Block System to Humanize the Historic Centre
Under the theme of the humanization of public spaces, we have developed a “system of permeable blocks” which support the strategy for regenerating the Historic Centre of Amarante.
A pedestrian mesh network has been developed which connects the majority of blocks and introduces new programmes which optimize new perceptions of their interiors: community concert café, small squares, radical sports zone, nursery school, day centre and community gardens. These programmes permit interaction between different age groups, generating new dynamics in public spaces and modernizing the image of the town. A new identity is generated, always within the logic of proximity/community in the connection between public spaces and private spaces.
Within the scope of this project the block that received the intervention was the “library block”, where its form was consolidated with the introduction of a new building (community concert café, supporting local bands). This equipment will be responsible for attracting local residents and visitors, promoting reading and film sessions (in conjunction with the library- situated in the neighbouring block) and exhibitions (in conjunction with the Amadeu de Sousa Museum and the Casa Amarela).Due to the steep gradient, the intervention took as a reference the local vineyards, namely their terraces. This permitted us to take advantage of the coverings to make themed gardens and prolong the new functions into the exterior.