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TC 102 / 103- João Álvaro Rocha. Inhabiting 2002-2012

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This monograph includes the latest single-family and collective housing production by the Portuguese architect João Álvaro Rocha.

The architect João Álvaro Rocha is one of the greatest exponents of contemporary social housing in Portugal. His ability to work with some basic architectural guidelines, articulating them in an especially effective manner, gives rise to an architecture characterised by an extraordinary control and precision. Adhering to these guidelines, and applying them consistently, he was able to carry out a large number of high-quality social housing, recognised by the awards received and also by the consideration of his colleagues. As Eduardo Souto de Moura admits: “I have no problem in choosing one of the works of Rocha, because it is perhaps the most difficult subject to deal with in this moment: the social housing”

His family houses stand out for their conceptualization, their relationship with the place and their constructive precision. His collective housing projects are the best examples of how precision and rigor allow high quality architecture with an extremely controlled budget.

Rocha's design process is based on an exhaustive control of each of the components of the design that makes his works suitable for the transmission of knowledge.

Author João Álvaro Rocha
Collection TC Cuadernos, 2012
Pages       430
Language Spanish, English
Format 21 x 29,5 cm,  soft cover


In the words of the architect himself:
"Designing a house is always an adventure with an unpredictable outcome. Because the living space inevitably congregates the same functions, a house is always constituted by bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, kitchen ... A program that has changed little along time. This is because habits and uses have evolved very slowly. But in spite of that the houses are always different. (...) In architecture and in art in general, the forms in their essence, regardless of technique and technological means, are always the same. What changes is the way of associating them or the urgency of their combination. I think this is the fundamental reason why the design of a house is never repeated, although there are architects whose houses seem to be always the same, being Mies Van der Rohe, perhaps the most emblematic example. It is only through successive trials that we try to achieve a kind of ‘ideal model’, a spatially perfect model in its relationship between nature and the artificiality that characterizes the act of building - a unique place that, for all that is able to evoke, serves simply to support the life of man".

As we have pointed out, the work of João Álvaro Rocha is an inexhaustible source of information and design tools for architects who have to deal with the design of social housing. It represents a good example of how to achieve finesse and high-quality finishes despite a reduced budget.

In conclusion, rigour and precision can be combined in modular units to obtain first-class social housing, not only regarding the function or disposition of spaces but also the highest construction standards. 



A house is a house and each house is a house. Some notes on inhabiting
Inhabiting precision and other opposing arguments

Two Houses in Vermoim, Maia. Portugal
House in Vermoim, Maia. Portugal
Two Houses, João de Barros street. Porto. Portugal
House in Baixinho, Santarém. Portugal
House on de Sousa Tome Street in Porto. Portugal
House in Montedor, Carreço, Viana do Castelo. Portugal
House on do Arco Street, Gueifães, Maia. Portugal
Amorosa House, Viana do Castelo. Portugal


Apartment Blocks in Seara Street, Matosinhos. Oporto. Portugal
Residencial Apartment Building in Aguas Santas, Maia. Portugal
Bom Nome Building, Vila das Aves. Santo Tirso. Portugal
Housing “Ensanche 27” in Vallecas. Madrid. España
Development in Atalaia, Sagres. Portugal
Corga. 24 Housing, Aguas Santas. Maia. Portugal
Residential Complex of Penela, Coímbra. Portugal
Residential Complex of Fafe, Braga. Portugal
Housing Complex of S. Marçal, Oeiras Town Council, Lisboa. Portugal
156 Apartment Building in North Espartales, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid. Spain
Joint Housing in San Andrés, Jáen. Spain
Building of 137 Homes, in Toledo. Spain
Promotion “Our Lady of Angels 4 and 9”en Madrid. Spain

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João Álvaro Rocha Location: Carreço, Viana do Castelo. Portugal Date: 2006 Photography: Luís Ferreira Alves Format    Pdf Pages...
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