Metropolis, Lots 5 and 6
The old Stadium José de Alvalade, once demolished, left a large urban void between the new stadium and a large avenue, Alameda das Linhas de Torres. It is a place limited by isolated buildings, backyards and unfinished streets, lacking a new urban order and meaning.
In this context emerges the Metropolis project, whose plan was the result of collaborative work of the Dutch atelier T+T and the Lisbon-based atelier CPU. It is a project grounded on the construction of two different alignments of residential buildings over a large two-floor platform. This same platform, that is going to include shopping areas and an underground parking service, has a wide central courtyard, extending along a north-south direction, shaping a quiet shopping street protected from the loud noise of traffic of the nearby streets. The alignment of the residential buildings to the West draws an arch following the curve of the new stadium. At the opposite side, to the East, a second wavy alignment is completed by a tight curve, thus giving the set the final shape of a question-mark (without the dot). Our lot 5 is placed more or less at the middle of this alignment.
The conception of the plan emerged from a choice of dynamic urban spaces, stated in the notes to the initial drawings: “dynamic instead of static”. By entering this plan, lot 5 must also embody these initial ideas.
Therefore, the design of this lot was subjected to a critical reviewing about the way this concept could be put into practice. We then accepted the idea of city “in motion”, as result of a “kinetics applied to architecture” research, according to a more phenomenological, instead of cognitive, approach.
Functionally, we were asked for a compact building (75% of sellable area), variable typologically between a one-bedroom and 4-bedroom apartments, according to a medium-high standard.
The functional diagram taken into practice follows these assumptions as it advances with a simple and clear structure: the building goes longitudinally in a north-south direction and all apartments have immediate contact with the west and east fronts. Bedrooms are place to the east (“closed” side – small windows) and social areas and balconies are located west (open side – big windows). This way, all apartments have transversal ventilation and direct sunlight in the morning and at the end of the day.
According to the plan, lot 5 would describe an arch that, in our point of view, would force to a higher constructive complexity that, in practice, would hardly improve the indoor spaces. For this reason, we chose to “suggest” the arch throughout a sequence of 3, progressively longer, straight paths. On the other hand, the idea of motion is stressed to the west, by the juxtaposition of these paths, through a wavering “grill” of balconies, uneven in depth.
The outside spaces around the building also convey the intended idea of motion, highlighted by the gardened pavement which at some point rises, hiding underneath, half-sunken, the administration-room and the health-club.
The research on the apartment typologies would lead to another central idea of this project: houses “landed” on roof-tops. It is, in a way, a solution for lessening the impact of the building, managing a differentiation of the translucent volumes as opposed to the opaque character of the down floors. Now that the quality of the urban surroundings is still unknown, it is assured a pleasant atmosphere that might be scarce in the future, by introducing gardened patios in these two-floor apartments. This is a theme that definitely stands out in the image of Lot 5 in the Metropolis project: the extended roof-top as an intensely inhabited space.
Urbanização “Metropolis”, Lisboa, Portugal
21.000 m2 - 11.230 m2
ARX Portugal, Arquitectos lda.
João Alves, Paulo Rocha, Sónia Luz, Gonçalo Azevedo, Hugo Neto, Joana Pacheco, João Rodrigues, João Valente, Pedro Sousa, Sofia Raposo, Tânia Baptista, Francisco Marques
T+T Design, Gouda – Holanda
PEN, Projectos de Engenharia Lda.