The Vale de Cambra project was born in order to build housing and multi–service spaces, in a common roadside area in Vale de Cambra, Portugal. The client required that the construction should be fast, cost effective and changeable over time, which prompted the studio to use prefabricated elements and to leave certain parts of the project undefined. The project configures a practical example of SUMMARY’s architectural approach that takes immediacy, flexibility and resource optimization as its core principles.
The strategy was clear: a ground floor level for the multi-service spaces connected with the public space, crowned by the individual habitational units. Due to the differences between each of the spaces, an independent access was created for each function, placing them in different levels and taking advantage of the ground’s natural slope. The ground floor is composed by prefabricated slabs and structural panels in the whole exterior perimeter. Considering the building’s location, in a road-side area where everything changes too fast, the multi-service space is conceived in a very flexible way: the internal compartmentalisation is made with removable panels with inner rails for the distribution of water and electricity systems. This enables future adjustments and modifications: it’s possible to add or remove compartments or let the whole level function as an open space. Thus, the users will make their own space, according to the desired functions. The first floor is all composed of Gomos System units. Considering that the maximum building area permitted by law was quite short, the requested empty space was used to separate the housing units. Conceptualised and licensed as a collective housing building, the use of this separation offers the project the main advantages of single houses: clearly individualised entrances and a complete acoustic separation between the different units.
The Vale de Cambra project construction just started and it will be finished within the end of 2017.
SUMMARY is a young architectural studio based in the Science and Technology Park of University of Porto, Portugal, founded by Samuel Gonçalves in 2015. Seeking the balance between pragmatism and experimentalism, this practice aims for solutions that could answer a prominent challenge that the contemporary world places to architecture: how to make the construction act as an increasingly summary process?