EVORA – Portugal
This urban project was part of my final year project before obtaining my DEA (Bachelor’s degree RIBA pt 1)
The project aims to create a link between the old town of Evora and the newer industrial sectors to promote commercial activity and increase the town’s attractivity.
Evora is a small town in portugal with a massive amount of cultural heritage. The notable architectural beauty of the narrow roads and coloured buildings lends itself to the overral design of future projects.
The urban project itself consists of creating a new axis between the towns “green” center and the lesser attractive parts of town in the hopes that existing industrial sectors will lend themselves and try to benefit from this new “channel”.
The main concept to the project is to create a “link”. The link is then animated by various cultural buildings that will create a new form of economy and a new contemporary focal point to the town. The user is continually stimulated along the path with a mineral walway and a series of low walls that “frame” views along the path.
Since the town is built on a natural hill, each building’s height is determined by its altitude on the hill. By plotting building heights and altitude, a general line of height of the town could be plotted. This line determined the height of each building so as not to impact the towns configuration. Each building houses a different cultural program. A cinema, a hotel, office buildings, an art center, an outdoor amphitheatre and of course collective housing. All these programs are axed along a mineral path populated by contracting and expanding spaces.
The project was created by using Rhino and Grasshopper. The climate in this part of Portugal is typically of a mediteranean nature. The sun is the enemy and western light and heat is to be avoided at all costs. Generally compared to lesser mediteranean climates, window oppenings tend to be of greater height and lesser width. The architecture in this part of the world is based on verticality.
The project is clothed with large concrete louvers, that were placed parametrically along the buildings facades so as to minise heat and light absorption. By using sun paths and temperature analysis of the site, i was able to give grasshopper enough information to create a distribution model for each building. On the North sides of the project, the louvers are less dense, letting more undirect light penetrate the building whereas a denser facade is detected on the south sides of the project.