Alcabideche social complex, Cascais

Guedes Cruz Arquitectos  

In a built area of almost 10,000 square meters, 52 dwellings for elderly people make up the Alcabideche social complex, designed by the Lisbon office of José Guedes Cruz, César Marques y Marco Martinez Marinho, in the Portuguese municipality of Cascais. With the purpose of raising an entire small town, with outdoor communal areas conceived as prolongations of the houses, the ensemble presents translucent roofs of Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) – a high-durability low-maintenance light plastic – which at the end of the day shine with a white light. This turns red in emergencies, when residents activate the alarm for assistance, alerting the control station installed in the central building. A cushion of air beneath the roof is an active thermal-regulation element, capable of storing heat in winter through the greenhouse effect and curbing it in summer through the ventilation chamber. The concrete volumes incorporate underfloor heating connected to solar panels. Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Ricardo Oliveira Alves