The city Essay

Topography was a key factor in this housing scheme. The importance of the city was maintained by keeping a visual relationship from various different points in the scheme. The main road is strongly positioned which unites the various parts of the housing scheme with the city. Siza extended the spatial blueprint of Santa Maria and integrated this into the scheme which in turn coincides with the east-west axis towards the center of the city. At one point it was suggested that this main road be widened to accommodate for traffic, this proposal led Siza to give an ultimatum as he felt this would destroy his intervention.

To the north of the scheme shows the presence of a pathway which crosses the land in a diagonal form pointing in the direction of la Quinta da Malagueirinha. He observed that the people of the city through the passing of time left traces of pathways that were most convenient to them and therefore he chose to respect and use these pathways. ‘Siza retains the original path and converts it into a covered walkway’. (Fleck and Pfeifer 2013) The way in which the rows of houses are arranged respect the existing trees and landscape. Here we can see an established agreement with the form of the land. To the extreme west, the smaller areas are dealt with by using the individual circumstances such as the lay out of the streets, the Lisbon motorway, the position of the town and the geometry of important buildings. These three main areas are linked by a central space that is orientated towards the city that was determined by the presence of existing streams and brooks. The open spaces create a sort of ‘network of spaces’ and the presence of the topography is never not felt.

The urbanization of Malagueira was planned as an extension of the city of Èvora. Although some say that it contrasts strongly with the city. That the large open spaces in the scheme resemble a sort of Scandinavian style suburb rather than the picturesque density of Portuguese towns. This being one of the only criticisms of the successful project. Now that there is a new communist mayor, he has shown great interest and has expressed his determination in having the initial public buildings and spaces finished at last. Examples of these being the ‘Crowning Half-Dome', the ‘Apart-Hotel’ and the medical center to name a few. Various sketches by Siza of these projects can be found in his writings. It can also be said that the residents are as much the authors as Siza was as the project is still transforming and evolving with the city. It is nice to be able to say that 40 years on from Sizas’ initial involvement, he is still set to have a role in its future. Èvora is now ranked number 2 in the most livable cities survey in Portugal, this is in my opinion because of Siza’s perseverance, perspicacity and talent. He proved that quality homes could be built at a moderate price.

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