Manuel Castro Veiga

Design applications on site:

Constanza Urbina + Fernanda Valenzuela +Tamar Firer

Urban Strategies

Functional Strategies (zoning)






Theoretical approach:Program New Alternatives>New housing typologies within existing built stock

Proposed Network of cultural equipments

Complementary actions>Referential Research>Selected lots and proposals








Team 6 / Ivan Bonev

Micro Strategy

Briefly described, our strategy can be characterized with:

- providing affordable housing for young singles and families;

- providing affordable working spaces for enterprising people;

- decreasing car dependency within suburbia;

- transforming the suburb’s street from a “non-place” to an active space;

- going back from car-scale to human-scale;

- increasing social interaction within the neighbourhood using architectural and spatial methods.

It is expressed in developing temporal modular structures which are suitable for either housing or working spaces. They are intended to be dispersed around the streets of the suburb, after a thorough analysis of suitable placement and orientation regarding the existing nearby dwellings and with the approval of their residents. If needed and requested a structure could be placed within a particular site, emphasizing on the mutual connection, but always related to the public space and functions. Adding new volumes to the streetscape, we transform the existing monotonous rows of houses and create a different environment in terms of spatiality and architecture. A single condition is demanded, for every newly build module a tree should be planted. Foreseeing their temporal character and function, after their removal the newly planted flora will irreversibly change the living habitat and landscape. In my development of the modular structures, I emphasize on natural materials, building cost optimality and assembling and disassembling architecture in order to reduce their long term physical impact.

As well as enriching the living habitat with new volumes of architecture, we change the street texture. By narrowing down the asphalt road to a single car lane and surrounding it with perforated pavement, we allows greenery to flourish, create more picturesque landscape, but still do not exclude car movement on it, when needed.

Design Proposal


existing situation

For the further development of the already established micro strategy I choose a site that is consistent of a inner neighbourhood junction and 7~8 dwellings which define its spatial and architectural characteristics. To continue with my intervention, I need to know the properties of spaces forming the site. Based on three types of functions that could be generalized for the use of modules (housing, production, service), I make three types of analysis. They corespondent to the particularly applied function but at the same time overlap as they are not mutually exclusive.


places for temporary housing structures and greenery

analysis of privacy of territory

In order to organize the housing modules and create a more diverse environment without provoking conflicts with locals, I need to analyze their feeling of privacy over the streetscape. By “feeling of privacy” I mean their visual access to what is happening outside of their home, their individual approach to their home and the quality of environment they have and needs to be preserved. The latter are defined by street furniture, fencing, greenery, topography of the terrain (whether natural or not), organization of inner spaces in the house, etc. The newly built housing conformed with the existing situation and is placed on specific spot, in order to create unique spaces and to “break up” the environment.


analysis of publicly accessible private spaces

Assuming that in each dwelling there is a person who has a skill or ability which requires a working space, his home can’t provide, I analyze the environment to be able to situate the productive modules. Two criterias are crucial in this analysis – to create connections between the dwelling and the module, and the module and the street, which are equally strong, and at the same time keep the privacy of home.  This is sought, in order to stimulate local production by providing it easily accessible and affordable spaces to develop into. At the same time, as a secondary effect, the whole neighbourhood will lively up, when people start looking for local craftsmen at their home areas.


places for service providing structures and greenery

analysis of potential public spaces

The last function which a module or a system of modules can host is public services. The analysis is based on the potential or already developed publicity of space can be used for situating the public module. This is, again, sought in order to bring new blood to the neighbourhood and make it more attractive for newcomers.


To sum up and represent an exemplary outcome of the proposed strategy, I develop a possible scenario in which one can see the new formed habitat and its advantages and disadvantages.


strategy scenario


To be able to compare the existing and the transformed situation I provide an equally detailed horizontal section of the foreseen changes in habitat.


transformed situation


However, when I base a micro urban strategy on a modular structure with certain properties, those properties need to be thoroughly studied.


The developed module systems highly depends on easily assembling and mounting, and when needed disassembling and dismounting. Therefore it is reusable and have a minimum impact on the local environment. Another advantage is that the main structure doesn’t need any fixations but is based on joints between the structural elements. Wood, plywood and insulation are the main structural materials, which means that the module is almost 100% recyclable.

In a few steps I’ll present structural elements and logic.

There are 6 main structural elements – three by three mirrored copies of each other – and 4 secondary ones.

The structural system allows module combination in both direction – horizontal and vertical.

This flexibility allows me to create unlimited combinations which vary in terms of space organization, built area and height. The modular system can provide a suitable structure for every situation.

A panel system which responds to the possible variations of combinations, gives me the opportunity to organize inner spaces in a suitable way according each particular situation.

The mounting procedure is simple. A module can be assembled in less then a day by an experienced construction team.

The term of co-habitation refers to the space where the need for social interaction (random or on purpose( is gathered . Co-habitation is a platform of various uses taking place, where either it contains parts in invigoration or not, traction or repulsion, act and react, all these transformed by social vectors up, down or on the surface of the ground. The housing -the most private space a man can have- is given mostly on the surface of the platform in a way that exposes itself at its most. Entertaining and workplace are combined, with the first to be forced upwards and the workplace downwards. At the same time transportation takes action under, over and parallel to the ground level.

The housing system is formed by 20 rectangular buildings which are connected in vertically, and out with the space they share in the cellular layout. The needs of cohabitation are complemented by an underground transport-connection system, while the same time the term ”passage” is amplified in the ground level through the rest housing spaces. Workplaces and places of entertainment are basically diametrically opposed but their terminations are located in the ground level.


_ the proposal seeks to give a new identity in order to differentiate itself from the existing environment.

_ possible to intervene in the area because of the many unexploited urban spaces.

_ the model we propose is a kind of cohabitation composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities.

_ a key feature of this model is its flexibility according to the visual flee in all directions, forming a wedge shapes.

_ the shared green space is another key feature. The logic of green roofs, sometimes accessible and sometimes not, in their development as they run across the whole building, recommends stops, gatherings and actions , working binding.

_ formation of private and public spaces that serve the needs of modern living.

_ orientation of living rooms, yards and balconies in relation to the sun and the sights.

_ in the middle is organized a central public core, in direct interaction with the existing buildings, which is accessible on the ground floor through the lateral galleries.

_ the character of the central core has mixed use (αccommodation, entertainment, shopping, employment and recreational activities) are all available in the immediate vicinity and preferably within walking distance.

_ the housing building consists of apartments and houses for habitation, where different types of families will live in these units. The forms of cohabitation should not be limited to the existing family model.

_ residents also share activities which may include gardening, child care centers, offices, access to internet, recreational and educational opportunities.

_ its ideal for people who have an apartment, but do not want to feel isolated within it.

_ the design encourages both social contact and personal space. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive common facilities.

_ the beauty of the co – housing model is that every resident has the freedom to choose how much or how less they wish to participate in this lifestyle.