In Portugal, the first public housing policies were developed in a high state-control context: the Salazar dictatorship (1933-1968). Until the 1950s, the Estado Novo (the dictatorial regime) actions had an evident paternalistic character by constructing small-scale housing focused on the most urgent cases or aimed at controlling specific sectors of the population. The public effort focused on promoting housing in the country’s central districts and cities, given that the population was abandoning rural areas to seek better living conditions in the large cities with a higher level of industrialisation. In this context, the official architectural discourse defended the ideal of the Casa Portuguesa [Portuguese House] as an affirmation of the ideological discourse of the regime. This model advocated a ruralising architecture style by integrating architectural and decorative elements of the region’s traditional architecture, including an outdoor garden to grow vegetables, store agricultural, farming or fishing tackle. The single-family dwelling was presented as the only residential type capable of assuming the Nation’s principles as seen by the regime, with low-rise and low-density urban designs typical of the garden city. It would become an excellent instrument to enforce the traditional family model and preserving the existing social order. In this regard, the paper proposes to study the first social housing neighbourhoods built in the medium-sized city of Setúbal: Afonso Costa, Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Pescadores and Famílias Pobres. Setúbal has historically played a significant role in the region due to its strategic location within its territorial structure around the Sado Estuary. Linked to the fishing tradition, the city overgrew in the first decades of the 20th century thanks to the canning industry, making it a recipient of the migratory processes that gave rise to social housing construction. The research has identified that these four neighbourhoods respond to a simple-line architecture close to the Modern Movement, especially in their spatial organisation. However, their external image and their urban planning link them to the “Portuguese House” ideals. Most of them consist of one- or two-storey houses, detached or semi-detached with gardens, and their façades incorporate elements typical of the popular architecture.
A Casa Portuguesa: Between tradition and avant-garde. The first social housing neighbourhoods in Setúbal (Portugal)
Ana C. Rosado, Juan-Andrés Rodríguez-Lora, Celia López-Bravo, Javier Navarro-de-Pablos, Daniel Navas-Carrillo; A Casa Portuguesa: Between tradition and avant-garde. The first social housing neighbourhoods in Setúbal (Portugal). AIP Conf. Proc. 15 November 2022; 2574 (1): 100002. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0105906
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