In the period between 2002 and 2009, Saraiva + Associados developed twenty social initiatives, contributing to the alleviation of the huge housing shortage in Portugal, specifically to respond to the most deprived families. This enabled commonly impaired social spheres to access decent housing. The HCC Espiche project, portrayed in the images, presents a small plot, for which a single building was proposed, served by a generous-scale interior central courtyard, which becomes an organising element of the whole. The oxblood-coloured courtyard is accessed through two galleries, open at opposing elevations, permitting a safe and obstacle-free visual perspective. The rigorous design of the volume is based on a layout of vertical spans articulated between floors, which impart a careful and harmonious language to the complex.


  • Location Lagos, Portugal
  • Sector Residential
  • Year 2009
  • Area 5.984 sqm
  • Client Edifer
  • Stage Built

«The connotation of social housing, in which “boxes” are created that only meet a set of standards, is far from the required approach. The low cost and high rationalisation require precise but creative intervention. From our perspective, the existing context permits the development of quality architectural solutions, in which functionality and plasticity merge in full harmony, creating housing units of reference. That is our objective, because the quality of the intervention does not depend on its cost, but on the concept employed and the defined approach.»

Nuno Mona

Associate Director

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