Excerpt:‘Résonnances’ is an architecture thesis by Corentin Morgan de Rivery and Clément Tardivet from ‘Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Lyon – ENSAL’, Université de Lyon, that explores the verticalization of dwellings, aiming to enhance living and housing scenarios in an informal settlement (slum) of Jardim Icaraí favela in the Brasilândia district of São Paulo, Brazil. The project entails putting new ideas into action, planning for urban expansion and more open spaces, rearranging existing alleyways, and constructing new road infrastructure to connect the favela to the community.
Introduction: Résonnances is an academic project located in the Jardim Icaraí favela (a slum) in the Brasilândia district of São Paulo, Brazil. It was decided to focus on the current and future informal and incremental housing architecture in this favela to develop a final year project thesis after spending a year on site to conduct a site analysis with its residents.
Résonnances is a three-pronged project to improve living and housing conditions in a complex informal settlement:
– A ‘Visible’ vertical project, to welcome the favela’s most vulnerable residents and newcomers, situated in the area with the worst conditions (hazardous terrain and unstable houses).
– A ‘Discreet’ horizontal project, a prototype designed for a specific alleyway but adaptable to others. In order to gradually mitigate the living standards of the favelados, architecture that is anchored in its environment is vital.
– An ‘Urban’ project that entails putting new ideas into action, planning for urban expansion and more open spaces, rearranging existing alleyways, and constructing new road infrastructure to connect the favela to the community.
Brazil has some extremely unique traits when it comes to the way people live there: formal and informal coexist to build the city. Particularly in the periphery, where favelas grow, spread, and generalise, new ways of living are emerging. The Brazilian favela (slum) is constantly changing as a result of numerous waves of migration brought on primarily by the industrialisation of cities and the countryside. Today, these areas have seen numerous changes, as evidenced by precarious housing situations, lack of open space, and lack of public services. As the horizontal spread becomes saturated, the favela becomes vertical and is accompanied by an informal economy. There is a systematic appropriation of vacuity.
The project is located in the Jardim Icarai favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Brasilândia neighbourhood. An evaluation of the site was conducted with the locals over the course of a year, and their needs and worries regarding their unique urbanity were assessed.
The informal and incremental housing design that exists today and will exist in the future in this slum was chosen as the focus of the final project thesis.
In order to understand the site and its issues, a full academic year was dedicated for visit and cartography of the favela with its inhabitants. This interaction with the inhabitants helped in understanding the needs and concerns about their particular urbanity.
The key focus of the architecture thesis was to come up with an urban planning and architecture project to create a useful substitute for substandard housing for the favela. Incorporating an urban plan, a project was created that was both vertical and horizontal. The urban scale was the focus for the first four months, and the architectural definition for the last six.
A 1:1000 scale site model with approximately 6,000 buildings was 3D printed and carved out of wood. In parallel, technical drawings were produced, and the program’s requirements were determined based on the site assessment. In the end all the material was compiled in the form of a project brief
The horizontal project is engulfed in a dense and complex urban tissue. It connects the street to the favela church and questions its surrounding landscape. Here, the way of thinking of free spaces is expressed through a dialogue between the alleyway and the building. This architectural object does not impose itself as a barrier, it generates links between the different opportunities offered by the context.
The decision to go vertical was made after a context analysis revealed that the floor space is saturated and the horizontal spread is at its maximum. The residents of the favela chose to have their dwellings stacked vertically because they were reluctant to leave. In an effort to locate space for construction, the favelas are seeking new and higher heights. When the ground is full, there are various possibilities visible in the sky. This vertical project foresees the excessive verticalization that will occur with unstable housing.
This architecture thesis serves as a token of recognition for an ongoing but obscure way of life. The designers must first become fully immersed in the slum before creating an emergence. They need to attentively hear what the favelados have to say while also making sure they are heard.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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