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Neighbourhood unit at Pedregulho by Affonso Reidy

[ARCHIVE] With the construction of the Pedregulho housing complex and its adjuvant communal spaces, Brazil makes an outstanding contribution to another phase of the modem movement

Originally published in the AR in October 1950

Alf Byden describes the importance of the Ministry of Education building in Rio, marking as it does so clear an advance in one phase of the modem movement. He explains, however, the neglect which, until recently, has been shown towards housing and town planning. The following illustrations of the Pedregulho neighbourhood unit, now under construction in Rio, suggest that this neglect is being remedied, and that Brazil may be about to make an outstanding contribution to another phase of the modern movement.


Staff of the Housing Department of the Rio de Janeiro Municipality who collaborated in this work are as follows: Francisco Marques Lopes, civil engineer, topography; Francisco Bolonha, architect; Sydney Santos and David Astracan, civil engineers, structure; Gabriel de Souza Aguiar, civil engineer, supervision of works: Carmen Portinho, civil engineer, general direction.

This unit is the first instalment of an extensive programme aimed at providing lower-paid municipal workers with housing accommodation near their places of work. The site covers some twelve acres of sloping ground and contains four blocks of fiats, a community centre, health centre, co-operative shops and a laundry. A sports centre with swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, open to all, is attached to a primary school which is also part of the unit. Although the site faces west and is very exposed to the sun, a great disadvantage in a tropical climate, this fault is nevertheless compensated for by a magnificent view over the bay which the architect has attempted to make visible from every flat. The scheme will house about 2,400 people.


The block of flats C stands in the lowest part of the site and consists of six floors of duplex flats. A creche and nursery school are placed at ground level, while the flats block itself is raised on pilotis. As this block is cut off from the main centre by an existing road a pedestrian way underneath it has been planned to establish a safe connection.


Ground floor plan of the nursery and primary school at Pedregulho

New Neighborhood at Pedregulho

Architect: Affonso Reidy

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