brandão costa 

São João de Deus (phase 1) . porto

brandão costa . São João de Deus (phase 1) . porto afasia (1)

brandão costa arquitectos . photos: © arménio teixeira  -model- . © andré cepeda -building –

The construction of the new buildings completes the establishment of the complex that was never finished to the south and allows for an increased number of available houses, keeping the scale of the earlier architectural context.


The new two stores blocks apartments are designed to enclosure singles houses (one on top of the other) with direct and independent entry. The volumes seat in their gardens in the back entrance door façade and expose their windows to the street.

The combination of these project conditions gives the complex a new urban charisma that, along with the typological rationality will contribute to a radical renovation.

To increase this feeling, the last four parallelepiped volumes of the complex extension of the neighbourhood as adapted to the existing and sloped topography, use the same (and only one) window dimension and detail already used in the complex but exposing a black curtain masonry, in a simple and traditional brick ventilated wall. It brings up the clarity and radical economy of the intervention, and creates an organic transition between the urban complex and the south landscape, still bucolic and expectant.
The construction is very simple and archaic, following the extreme economic concept of the all. The buildings are structrured with a punctual and light concrete frame with very small spans. An interior mud masonry fulfills de volumes between supporting pillars, protect by outside continuous thermal insulation. The form is totally expressed by the black massive brick curtain, enclosures a ventilated surface that assures the healthy of the construction.
Roof cornices, doors and windows details are made with armed laid down pieces of brick, taking advantage of its construction traditional technique language and giving a subtle ornamental brief note in the façade.
The choice of black klinker, gives the buildings a solid and charismatic scale, keeping it compact and somehow abstract. The choice of the white joints, enhance the brick work and gives realism to the housing atmosphere.
In a way, the elementary of the housing boxes get its complexity in the contrasted white joints turning highly visible each brick element.

s. joão de deus social housing
(1st prize, limited competition)
porto, portugal
building area:
1188 m2
nuno brandão costa
rita leite (coordination)
charlotte jeanjean, francisco pereira, inês loureiro, joão fânzeres, maria souto moura, mariana santos
structural engineer:
ana isabel vale (abprojectos)
hydraulic engineer:
miguel vale (abprojectos)
electrical engineer:
maria da luz santiago (rs associados)
mechanical engineer:
raul bessa (get)
model photographs:
arménio teixeira
building site photographs:
andré cepeda