Maria Francisca Guimarães
Architecture to me is understanding the present
As with everything in history, there are characteristics that are repeated, but there is constant evolution. What I'm passionate about in architecture is this same evolution, understanding the present, and its characteristics and impositions in the way we live today and inhabit a space that is ours.
Throughout history, the way we live and inhabit each place and space has evolved, not only according to the needs of the time, but also with the culture, habits of private and social life, and the concerns of the population at the time.
As with everything in history, there are characteristics that are repeated, but there is constant evolution. What I'm passionate about in architecture is this same evolution, understanding the present, and its characteristics and impositions in the way we live today and inhabit a space that is ours. If before we could see constructions of multiple spaces, rooms and rooms with connections between them, divided by long corridors, today we observe a totally different way of inhabiting and living a space, with a distinct flow and a combination of factors that are also unrelated to the past.
Architecture is this understanding of the present, which goes beyond the construction of a shelter, to the understanding of the Human Being and its needs. Architecture has the ability to respond to each different reality, with different approaches depending on the way of being and living of each person, each society and each culture. Today, we see a special focus on the need to understand each person's daily life, different realities and ways of being and living.
The organization of a space, including the use it makes of light, the connection with other spaces, with the surrounding areas and the entire city/region is an imperative today and, even this, changes according to each person and culture, with an adaptability of the architecture that can only be successful when there is a real understanding of the present and the space and culture where the project is inserted.
Excellent examples of what I am talking about can be seen in the projects of the Danish architecture office EFFEKT, not only because of its concern with sustainability, which is also a feature with increasing importance these days, but because of the acceptance of new ways of living and inhabiting. We see this positioning in projects like the Urban Village Project, a visionary new model for developing affordable and livable homes for many people living in cities around the world. The concept stems from a collaboration with SPACE10 on how to design, build and share future homes, neighborhoods and cities. It can also be seen in Villa Bülowsvej, a house designed as an urban villa for a family with 3 children in the heart of a Danish city.
But the changes that society is experiencing as it evolves also impose a development in the architecture of the common spaces that each inhabitant and person uses. Also with work by the EFFEKT studio we can see this same thing, through Tønder Midtby, a comprehensive project for the adaptation and climate transformation of urban spaces in Tønder, a historic city located in southern Jutland, a Danish island.
We can also look at our own portfolio at Almeida Fernandes Arquitetura & Design, for projects such as Casa da Comporta, inspired by the traditional architecture of the area, in the Cais Palafitico da Carrasqueira, composed of seven wooden volumes, lived in its own buildings and in the space created between them, in a symbiotic connection between in and outdoors, light and shadow.
These projects, among many others by architects such as Louis Kahn, Siza Vieira, Souto de Moura or João Mendes Ribeiro, meet these challenges, concerned with understanding the present and seeking to respond to today's needs. The role of the architect thus becomes even more relevant in the reading of cultural habits in housing and in the way in which each space is lived on a daily basis.