LINHA housing in Freamunde by MASSlab


Placed in a transition area between urban and rural, between buildings of low-density housing and higher-density collective housing, and between a school and wild land, the proposal merges with the surroundings, enabling a conscientious dialog between these opposing realities.

With a longitudinal intervention area and steep topography along the street side, the building blends into the landscape as a continuous and hinged bar, a single gesture line that gives name to the project. The proposal is designed on horizontal platforms with a vertical layout based on modular elements that create a rhythm on both sides of the facades, creating a unique identity.

The competition’s jury highlighted “the quality of the proposal, the sobriety, and coherence of the project in architectural terms”. The building is assembled through a prefabricated modular concrete structure using a minimal volumetric unit that replicates itself in the vertical and horizontal levels and unfolds in multiple spaces, diversifying the number of uses.

The void that results from this structural rhythm creates the basic module for living, in this case, a sum of 60 dwellings. More than an economy of resources and means, the use of prefabrication allows a streamlined assembly and a structured relationship between each element that is the interior space.

With an ever-increasing conscience for diversity, the way families are organized, and new ways of living, designing livable space is not about creating a living machine, but creating flexible living spaces that enable us to adapt to a multiplicity of contemporary lifestyles, where the house adapts to the user, and not the other way around.

In the compact and longitudinal volume, two large openings are marked as meeting points for the dwellers, emphasizing the relationship between neighbors and the straight relationship between occupied space and the natural space on the back of the building.

If on the one side, the street front is characterized by the way the large openings in the bottom relieve the tension created by the continuous line of the building, the patio is designed with a rational understanding of the original slope, designing plateaus, open to the landscape, and with a clear and fluid relationship between them.

The variety and flexibility of these public spaces in the covered and uncovered plateaus seek to adapt to the site’s conditions and meet the needs of the residents and the neighboring community by offering different programs. Source by MASSlab.

  • Location: Freamunde – Paços de Ferreira, Portugal
  • Architect: MASSlab
  • Lead Architect: Diogo Sousa Rocha, Duarte Ramalho Fontes, Lourenço Menezes Rodrigues
  • Design Team: Amr Ragaei, Francesca Piccini, Içim Atli, Filippo Bravi, José Girão, Federico Vidilini, Giulia Giovannini
  • Engineering: Adão da Fonseca, Engenheiros Consultores
  • Client: Paços de Ferreira City
  • Program: Housing + Parking
  • Gross Built Area: 6810 m2 Above Ground + 1400 m2parking
  • Year: 2022
  • Images: Barbar (exterior), Bisto (interior), Courtesy of MASSlab