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chales cumbe (prototype finalized)


Bernardo Horta




Aracati, Ceará, Brazil

Shoes on Display

The proposal aims to contribute to the Cumbe community's development and rescue its characteristics and traditions. Bernardo horta arquiteto seeks to produce contemporary architecture, but with a regional trait, a project that rescues the cultural values of a historically marginalized population. The construction system adopted allows alternatives regarding the applied materials, reconciling the operational process and local techniques. This strategy allows the proposed building to adapt to its context. In this way, the flexibility in using components (doors, windows, windshields, roof and objects) and the grouping of modules allow the house system to be improved whenever new partnerships are created between owners, suppliers and the community. Each family embraced by the project has specific needs, so the experience of customization arises from the user's ability to assemble and define these components. The individuality of these choices works as a break from the progressive development of standard housing, resulting in enormous urban heterogeneity. The premises for implementation and groupings are premised on the economy, constructive technical feasibility and adaptation. However, the continuous construction of a set of modules does not exclude the individual expression of each house. The structure consists of bolted units of columns and prefabricated beams from reforestation wood. One of the problems with traditional wood construction is the need to test fittings and construction solutions on-site, which brings inspection and deadline problems. Prefabrication helps to overcome these conflicts, lowering the cost and allowing customization. Buildings are raised to avoid complications caused by soil moisture; recycled and concrete-filled tires serve as foundations.
Various purposes offer to replicate construction traditionalism and regionalism of wood-craft and labyrinth lace. The fences in the longitudinal direction of the buildings follow the constructive method of the walls of pau-a-pique, made of weaving with wooden battens, where empty spaces are filled with moist soil. The transverse fences (front and rear) can be varied (muxarabi, drawn straw, wooden shutter or slat, straw screen, labyrinth, etc.), following the user's needs and adapting to a more significant number of simulations. At the same time, the fences create a play of light and shadow associated with an interior and exterior relationship, which through controlled permeable moments establish an urban connection. The design of an open architecture allows for various appropriations of public and semi-public space, ensuring healthy living among residents, increasing neighbourhoods through the remaining areas of the lots and porches.
The overall proposal of the project creates an architecture capable of conserving and updating the traditional construction method. It shows how to use natural material better and create the possibility of self-construction; use transportable and reusable building elements; minimize energy consumption; incorporate local practices and craftsmanship, and relating to the local cultural context.

Arrow Out
Wooden Toy Clock

The Cumbe Housing project by bernardo horta arquiteto is an example of New Wood Open Architecture. It uses an adaptive prefabricated wood construction system to encourage active participation throughout the dwelling process. Community members actively participate throughout the design, construction and maintenance process. By being actively involved in the standardized construction process, participants can form a stronger connection with one another and the architecture they share a role in creating. Participation is further incorporated into the tectonics and materials of the resulting project. Community members used local building techniques and materials to further their involvement in the project. This high level of participation gives the surrounding community the agency to customize and expand the structure to reflect their changing housing needs. The prefabricated wood construction system further empowers the community to make ongoing changes by standardizing the construction module. The structural system is easily understood and can expand or contract to better meet the needs of those who dwell within. The Cumbe Housing project by Bernardo Horta Arquiteto exemplifies New Wood Open Architecture because it uses an elegant construction system to encourage active participation throughout the dwelling process.


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