Ilha Do Joaneiro: mediating borders

Ilha Do Joaneiro: mediating borders

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An innovative concept, inspired by people and their daily routines, re-evaluating established borders.

This paper researches the transformation possibilities of a slum area in Recife, Brazil and how various interventions could offer guidelines for qualitative densification. The approach is actor-oriented and design- driven.

Besides the informality and the bad connotations slum areas are created with vernacular architecture, individuality independent from governmental interference. This research aims to enhance the understanding of this kind of areas and propose interventions on a comparable scale. These areas are vulnerable but relevant when trying to understand urban sprawl in metropolitan areas. Social inclusion stands high on the urban agenda but will take a participative approach.

More specific, this thesis explores the question ‘How to mediate borders in a city’s edge territory by proposing conceptual interventions?’. By proposing concepts that question current border situations, new compositions were created. With community participation as the basis of the transformations that should materialize in all stages of the concepts.

Qualities have emerged from the conceptual proposals that characterize life in Ilha Do Joaneiro, but also other so-called slums. The conceptual proposals have disproved the established values around border areas (transition public-private) and can now provide a basis for dialogue. This dialogue can be substantiated based on the characteristics and qualities that have been established and named.

The transition from public to private had a key role in this study and the proposals showed that this transition should be smooth. The more sequences that are passed through, the softer this transition and the greater the comfort and sense of security. On the other hand, sometimes physical boundaries need to be removed to guarantee more quality in the inner area but also the streetscape. The proposals together are a manifesto to tackle life in a community from the bottom up and stimulate it to expand and improve by itself.

  • Authors:
    • Anna Devis

    • Johan De Walsche (Promotor)
    • Marleen Goethals (Promotor)
  • Period:
    • 2019 — 2020  

    • Architecture

    • Master thesis

    • UNICAP