The House of Our Saints
Function: community center, local identity
Site location: Vitória, Porto, Portugal
City and date of birth: Carlos (Bragança, 1989), Francisco (Porto, 1989), Teresa (Cascais, 1989)
University / Institution: Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto
The saints are out there in the streets. They’re in the altars and small chapels, windows and facades, they observe us from their protective niches, waiting for the devotions of believers. The traditions of this saints goes beyond the simple religious faith. They are the saints of those who eat, gather, cry and celebrate the Vitoria. And the believers are all of us, all of the genuine ‘Portuenses’ (Porto’s habitants) that practice the cult of ‘Arraial’ (popular festival) and light a candle for ‘FCP’ (Porto’s Football team). All of us that pay homage to the Port Wine Saint and preach for the Lord of the best ‘Francesinhas’ (typical Porto dish).
The ‘Casa dos Nossos Santos’ (House of Our Saints) it’s a space for reunion and community expression that promotes local identity. The rehabilitation of the neighborhood is processed by creating sustainable conditions for the actual residents. The strategy to keep the old Porto spirit alive starts with the aggregation of the inherit characteristics in an environment devoted to the practice of activities with social interest. The exterior of the building projects a strong identitary image related to the idea of a shared collectivity between saints and people.
The ‘House’ is the starting point for welcoming and gather people, discuss and manifest ideas, prepare and benefit local initiatives. There is an urban procession that starts in the ‘House’ and it’s punctuated with small niches with the purpose of embracing the neighborhood and share all the authenticity that it has to offer.
Author: Carlos Trancoso, Francisco Rocha, Teresa Almeida