By Pedro Colaço Leal
The use of wood as a construction material is very frequent in the north of Portugal, houses and eaves made in wood are very characteristic of Portuguese architecture.
Near the river a building is reborn. Inspired by the construction of Rabelo Boats, Wood pillars and slabs create a very marked structure in the building’s façade. It is proposed the creation of ten new floors and seventy apartments overall, the ground floor is where the Museum of the Rabelo Boat is born.
Of the two pre-existing buildings only the exterior stone walls remain. The proposal is for the Museum of the Rabelo Boat to be located in these buildings. A big hangar with triple height contains a mezzanine which enjoys the best view of the Douro and the city of Porto. In the museum’s ceiling big wooden boxes are left at sight.
The apartments are made from modules with 6m X 3m and also contain a courtyard which can be used either as an inside or outside space. The modules are composed by wooden boxes which can be moved to create apartments with different dimensions according to the necessities of its habitants. The modules can also be transported to and assembled in different places of the planet. The apartment’s roof and pavement are made in wood Kerto Ripa.
In the southern façade a gallery is created to make horizontal communication between the different apartments. It is also in the southern side where the community gardens are located, these are placed in the terraces of the slope.
The project intends to shelter a community in an ecosystem build in an ecological and sustainable way. In turn, the building’s chosen materiality is due to the tradition of using wood in architecture in the north of Portugal