Funchal Shelter Home
LOCATION: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
PROGRAM: Children shelter home
CLIENT: Cecilia Zino Foundation
TEAM: sastudio, Mayer Selders Architects, ESC Architects
Competition: Concept – 5th place
Size: 650 m2
The project for the Shelter Home for the Cecília Zino Foundation, in its conception, intends to respond to the strengths and limitations of its site and its adaptation to the program, resulting in a new integrated, accessible and sustainable center for fostering and stimulating new relationships and spaces of activity for children, visitors and employees.
The architecture settles by defining the spaces and moments created by its configuration: a building sensitive to children’s needs, freedom and privacy while at the same time ensuring security and control by the staff.
More than a building that responds to its inherent needs, we sought to define a catalyzing element of activities by its positioning in the ground and by the definition of the interstitial spaces, a unifying object that allows maximizing the experience of living, growth, and children in the Center.
Despite the required size to accommodate the program, we tried to avoid a proposal with the urban scale of a building with a large presence on the street, but rather a simple stacked building, with a more fragmented scale, as if of a composition of small houses.
This way, instead of resorting to large (and costly) excavations and retention of land, its shape leans on the existing terraces for greater enrichment of programmatic distribution: the separation by recessed floors along the existing topography establishes an inherent privacy hierarchy of the spaces with respect to the circulation and living of the kids and the public/ visitors flow.