In Bairro das Estacas, immediately to the west of Teatro Maria Matos, there is a garden, sheltered between modernist buildings that give the neighbourhood its own particular history. We’ll grab our bags and, even before we set off on holiday, we’ll go out into the open air, which is where everything happens in the city and where its life is celebrated.
Everyone knows that stories are meant to be told in the shade of the trees, while we stretch out on the grass and imagine forms and visualise shapes for the characters that we are hearing about.
We are going to create unlikely animals that enter into the fables we listen to and then run off into the garden where flowers are invented and where we make portable kitchen gardens to take home with us. We’re going to eat drawings and take a stroll through the garden where shows take place with more or less music, telling us stories about children’s dreams, and others where the characters are looking for their place in the story itself.
We will take a family photograph, which, after all, is the one we want the most, and then, finally, we can all go off on our holidays and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Bairro das Estacas
Designed by the architects Formosinho Sanchez and Rui d’Athouguia, the project for the Bairro das Estacas (the “Neighbourhood of Stakes”) and its gardens dates from 1950. It has received several national and international awards and was considered, at the time, to be the first construction that coherently applied the Athens Charter.
The Athens Charter is the urban planning manifesto resulting from the 4th International Congress of Modern Architecture (Congrès internationaux d’architecture moderne – CIAM), held in Athens in 1933. It deals with the so-called Functional City and proposes the separation of residential, leisure and work areas, recommending that the density of traditional cities should be replaced by a garden city, in which the buildings are located in low-density green areas.
In order to implement this project, the architects introduced some local alterations to the Alvalade Urbanisation Plan, proposing the building of a group of four parallel blocks, standing on “stakes” or pillars, with green spaces between them. In this way, a division was established between the parking space for cars and the pedestrian areas. Each housing unit had spacious balconies overlooking green spaces, receiving the sun from both east and west. The prevailing ethical imperative was that of universal housing, especially after the 1948 congress of Portuguese architects, which was strongly opposed to the national Fascist regime. The Bairro das Estacas is considered to be an experiment with quite distinct urban, landscape and typological features.