YEAR: 2010

CLIENT: Europan

PLOT: Cascais, Portugal

TEAM: Ainhoa del Río, Olatz Iñigo, revirtualiza, Virgilio Aguirre, Maika Vivas.

AWARDS: Special mention in the Europan Competition. Cascais-Portugal. 2010



We are interested in the location because it requests a response to different and usual situations on the outskirts of any urban nucleus.

The area of study brings together the urban encounter with the natural environment, segregation regarding the environment due to overcoming the territorial communication channels and taking positive advantage of the existing settlements. We understand the construction of the new Cascais hospital as a dynamizing action lending programmatic content to the settlement.

We set out an occupancy pattern which can be extended to the whole setting of the Sintra-Cascais Nature reserve.

We accept the determining factors as a gift within the apparent disorder of the location in order to generate guidelines for growth which order and self-manage both the private and public initiatives. We differentiate the following factors:

  1. The dynamizing factor. The new Cascais hospital generates synergies which lend opportunities for the revitalization of the area.
  2. The enriching factor. The process of colonization means rooting the proposal in the location, yearning for a symbiosis between that existing and that planned which enriches both one and the other.
  3. The limiting factor. The roads, the third Cascais ring road and the A5 motorway, essential elements in the urban and territorial structuring, suppose an obstacle when growing cities surpass these physical limits. At the same time, their condition as flow channeling agents converts them into advertising showcases.
  4. The colonizing factor. We do not claim to invade the natural environment but just the opposite, that the latter may recover the ecological footprint of the location. ESTRATEGIAS.




The growth phenomenon is brought about in a paused manner avoiding sudden leaps and valuing the classification of uses, buildable area and constructed volumes.

The constructions we propose have a classification in their planning parameters until they remaining integrated into the environment.

Four strata are established in the perimeter of the whole Sintra-Cascais Nature Reserve. Each stratum is given buildable area and programmatic parameters which allow us to dispose of, to locate and to set the dimensions for the different uses in the plots containing the strata.

The classification is guaranteed allowing the transfer of buildable area between plots always in the same stratum. Generate a guideline which conceives the a buildable area limit but which does not set out m². With this the furthest zones from the rural environment have greater buildable area and greater volumes compared to the nearest ones with lower values. This way a gradual process of “ecological pollution” is achieved.


The concept of self-management is closely related to the time variables of individuals and collectives. The needs or the means of development of the latter vary in time. We propose a system of occupancy which fulfills these variable requirements.

At collective level. With the build parameters for occupancy established, the collectives involved in the development of the sector (institutions, cooperatives, private developers, associations, organisms), depending on their needs and resources, are free to choose the area, the rhythm and the classification of the action. Furthermore, according to how the needs or possibilities vary content can be added until the preset limits are fulfilled. Landscape and Architecture mature with time and the value of nature within the longed for city is displayed.

At individual level. In the same way, individuals renew or complete their needs with the passage of time. We propose incomplete basic residential units and that the individual self-manage the end product according to temporal needs.