Call For Ideas
International Competition
Urban regeneration of the block Aurifícia
Porto, Portugal

The Portuguese Council of Architects – Northern Chapter (OASRN) has sought, through the Norte 41° Project - Centre for Architecture, Creativity and Sustainability, to establish itself as a special contributor in the debate on practices of rehabilitation and regeneration of cities, a topic that is particularly relevant at a critical time when paradigms for urban growth are being reviewed.

Porto, the Portuguese city with the title of World Heritage Site, has recently seen a number of architectural rehabilitation initiatives that deserve a special look, all the more so since, rather than being ambitious public projects for the rehabilitation of the historic centre that are ineffective and dysfunctional in relation to the economic and cultural dynamics of the city, have been small-scale private investment initiatives, both in the cultural and building spheres, which have contributed to an effective change in the movement and profile of the city centre’s traditional occupants.

Consequently, we believe it timely for a programme of public initiatives that uses the Porto experience, but also collates experiences from other parts of the world, of the disciplinary teachings that are useful in building an open, inclusive city, with a strong civic participation.

It was against this background that an International Seminar on Rehabilitation and Urban Regeneration took place in 2012,   and against which an International Competition for Architectural Ideas is being promoted for a block in Porto city centre.

This competition uses the methodology of a particular approach through conferences and public debates about urban regeneration under the title "The Rescued City", which precede the design period and call on the participation of architects, as well as all the stakeholders and professionals involved in the rehabilitation process of cities, in order to contribute from a multidisciplinary perspective to the development of new and more effective Urban Regeneration and Rehabilitation strategies that enrich the character and life of cities.

The proposed site for the competition, the block in which OASRN owns a building, offers unique conditions to qualify as a case study in the context of this topic, being centrally located within Porto and having the potential to enhance the Boavista-Downtown axis due to the intrinsic richness of its buildings and the block’s exceptional interior spaces.

With this competition, OASRN wishes to contribute to the definition of planning strategies, action methodologies and useful work tools in the area of rehabilitation and sustainable development of the city.

José Fernando Gonçalves
Chairman of the Directive Council - Northern Chapter of the Portuguese Council of Architects