ARQUITECTOS PORTUGUESES GANHAM CONCURSO [UN]RESTRICTED
Design team: João Segurado, João Magala, Manuel Espada, Mauro Geronimo, José Pereira, Luis Sezões, Filipe Freitas, Portugal
The Winning Proposal is “OCO – Ocean & Coastline Observatory,” submitted by a Portuguese team proposing the repurposing of Trafaria, a series of batteries across the Tagus estuary from Lisbon.
“The Portuguese role in the world is still very attached to the ocean,” the designers remark. “More than an economic [asset], the ocean is an element that defines us, that gives us identity,” all the while becoming a simultaneously rich and wasted resource.
“Trafaria’s 5th Battery is part of a large network of buildings built for the military protection of the coastline....It would be most sensible for a civic program to take its place,” while allowing the site to answer a familiar calling. The team reinterprets the old defense structures: “set on top of a hill, turned to the sea for coastline preservation, now in a civic, ecological and sustainable way....”
Judging having concluded, OCO is open for public consumption. And the team is able to reveal themselves.
“We’re a Lisbon Architectural Collective that gets together time to time to debate and work over a variety of subjects, including Architecture!” João Segurado explains. "We found [the Challenge] a very well-timed social provocation.” A sequence of experiences guided the project, from economics of the Portuguese coast to the discovery of “morphologic and geographic heritage” with environmental group SOS Surf...at about the time the batteries came to the team’s attention.
Recently, the Collective discovered a Facebook group of veterans in recuperating the Trafaria Batteries, rounding out the team’s serendipitous journey. “In the end we just had to connect the dots!”
12490 [OCO - Ocean & Coastline Observatory]
Ugandan architect Andrew Amara receives the Founders Award for “Paicho Huts,” a proposal to re-open an army outpost as a combination clinic, community center, market and memorial gallery. The Founders Award is awarded to the entry that best exemplifies the aims of Architecture for Humanity. Amara is seeking ways to restore peace in rural Uganda following decades of conflict. While the town of Gulu is now bustling, Amara notes, “the suburbs on the outskirts however are picking up slowly with people returning back to their homes to rebuild livelihoods that were shattered by the war.”
“During the hostilities between the Uganda People's Defense Force and the Lord's Resistance Army there were many IDP camps throughout the district, where at one time, an estimated two million people lived. One of these camps was in Paicho. An army outpost was therefore stationed in Paicho to monitor and safeguard the camp.
“However after April 2009, all IDP camps were closed and the people were allowed to return to their villages. In July 2009, an estimated 1,452,000 (80.7%) IDPs out of a total of 1,840,000 had voluntarily left the various camps to return home, leaving only 388,000, who are in the process of vacating or permanently settling where they are.”
Amara sees in Paicho an opportunity “to catalyze the resettlement and rebuilding process of the community” for the remaining residents of Paicho. Amara assesses every service needed by this population, and lays out a powerful vernacular road map to achieve it.
Other finalists (First Places an Runners Up) targeted hot topic issues regarding environmental impact, political reaction, small-scale intervention, and economic development, for sites as varied as Old City Hebron, (Palestinian Territory), defunct World War II infrastructure in the Netherlands, seaside bunkers in New Zealand, “Peacewalls” in Northern Ireland, and Muammar Gaddafi’s former palace grounds in Tripoli, Libya.
Finalists - Environmental impact
Finalists - Political response
Finalists - Economic development
Finalists - Small-scale intervention