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Azenha do Mar/Odemira | Stº Tirso | Barreiro


CATEGORY
urban/architectural
SITE'S FAMILY How to create positive dynamics from a difficult situation?
LOCATION AZENHA DO MAR, Odemira [Southwest coast of Portugal,
230 km from Lisbon]
POPULATION Village 130 habitants Municipality of Odemira 26000 habitants
STUDY SITE 25 ha
PROJECT SITE 6,5 ha
SITE PROPOSED BY Municipality of Odemira
OWNER OF THE SITE Municipality of Odemira
COMMISSION AFTER COMPETITION Concept and development design
for a urban study that can evolve to include public space urban design and
architectural and landscape design.
REPRESENTATIVE OF TEAM Architect

HOW CAN THE SITE CONTRIBUTE TO THE «ADAPTABLE CITY»?

Azenha do Mar is a recent fishing settlement. Its adaptability corresponds
to a challenge regarding the dynamics of a contemporary
society, related to a particular place's identity. It is aimed at urban
complementarities articulating natural landscape and activities (agriculture
and fishing), through the enhancement of local resources,
including sea products (fish, shellfish, algae), vegetables (subsistence
farming), energy resources (sun, wind, tides) and landscape
resources (paths and biodiversity). And also, to promote flexibility
on these areas in a way which allows specific targets of hosting and
providing greater diversification of economic, cultural and social activities.

CITY STRATEGY

It is intended to counteract degradation and exclusion by transforming
Azenha do Mar in a sustainable cluster (increasing its production
capacity associated to local resources) and making it attractive
in a perspective of nature related tourism (hiking, diving,
walks on the waterfront) and wellness related tourism (relaxation,
meditation, natural therapies) with a diversity of capacities to sustain
them along time. The aim perspective of structured development
is a responsible tourism, where tourism experience is to be
diluted with the local experience and generates a demand for visitors
throughout the year.

SITE DEFINITION

The natural characteristi cs of the rocks "towards open sea", the green
cliff s and picturesque fi shing toil, make this conurbati on a symbol of
handmade fi shing and shellfi sh acti vity and is currently part of a secti on
of the multi -awarded Rota Vicenti na (hiking path with 350 km). Integrated
in the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicenti na and in
the Natura 2000 network, the study site covers vacant areas of a former
municipal allotment (that was never fully implemented) also integrati ng
shed buildings that show a degraded urban image and accentuate the
problems related to economic fragility and social exclusion.

FUTURE OF THE SITE IN RELATION OF SITE'S FAMILY AND ADAPTABILITY

The very low populati on density that characterizes the municipality of Odemira,
and also the limited human and fi nancial capacity to maintain a high
number of faciliti es, landscaping, urban public spaces and buildings, require
local areas and faciliti es to be the most fl exible and adaptable as possible, to
host diff erent events and acti viti es. The commitment to effi ciency gains requires
architectural and public space soluti ons allowing the accommodati on
of diff erent acti viti es with reduced maintenance requirements, respecti ng
the site's scale and identi ty.
The aim is to increase the supply of housing, both tourist (short-term) and
residenti al (long-term), giving preference to architectural soluti ons adapti ng
to a wider range of socio-economic needs on medium and long terms with
effi ciency in resources consumpti on.

The challenge is to design tourism facility's concept to create positi ve dynamics
connected with existi ng conditi ons, and that may be adapted to a
dayti me center with residences for the elderly; and create design housing
typologies that suit both residenti al tourism and fi rst or second residenti al
types. The locati on of a parking area and boats repair area should be implemented
as well as it should be planned small commercial units for the
installati on of basic neighborhood shops and/or to promote local products,
restaurant and bar. Public spaces are required to emphasize the relati onship
between land (upper area of the conurbati on) and sea (lower part of the
small port), respecti ng the natural and landscape features of the site. Community
gardens may be integrated into the urban context and connecti ons
with walking routes, with the boats' pier and with places for the practi ce of
recreati onal fi shing are to be structured.