Public Space Transformation

Sustainable Public Space Transformation

Apúlia (Portugal) 2022

Critical Concrete + Escola Superior Artística do Porto, Portugal

The Ringue space intervention is a community effort wishing to bring back some life in an otherwise bare rectangular space surrounded by a social housing block built in the 90’s. The renovation project has taken place for over a year, endorsing a slow approach centred around community engagement. More than 40 users have been interviewed by the team of Critical Concrete to define an action plan. Participatory design sessions, in the form of games, were also organized to decide together how to proceed.
Finally, the intervention was formulated focusing on issues related to lack of green, shade, sitting areas, playing elements and identity. Points identified as crucial for the dynamics of the square: furniture, vegetation, the pavement, and a floor painting.

The design of multifunctional urban furniture aims to combine the needs of additional sitting areas together with some playing elements and resting spots. Three timber structures have been designed and built, in collaboration with a group of students from the sustainable architecture program. The elements are made of natural and recycled materials ensuring environmentally aware solutions.

Modularity and durability were the key words for the design language. The concept evolved from having multifunctional structures that could be, as single modules, assembled together and composed in a free space. Translating the community’s needs into shapes, Critical Concrete proposed a modular design language, whereby every module had a set structure with defined components that could be assembled and shaped into a common solution. This allowed a more efficient workflow, ordering the material on time and studying the sections and joints for a precise construction. Although engaging the whole community can be challenging, the result was satisfying and will be long-lasting.

Collaborators: Humus Vivo; Municipality of Apulia; Municipality of Esposende; Neoturf.

Tutors: Critical Concrete;Dr. Gianluca Stasi, Ctrl+Z; Laurane Coornaert, Degré 47; Colectivo Mel

Students: Sustainable-Sustainable Architecture Postgraduatate programme students, class of 2022.

Research Question: How to design a functional and sustainable public space, while engaging the local community and working together with the public administration?


Sustainable-Sustainable Architecture Postgraduate programme (Critical Concrete + Escola Superior Artística do Porto)

Sustainable Public Space Transformation, Apúlia case study, further information.

+, 11-50, Architecture, Client-funded, Collaboration, Commissioned, Critical Concrete, Curricular, Escola Superior Artística do Porto, Initiated by institution, Planning, Portugal, Postgraduate, Propositional, Self-funded, Students with tutor, Years