MEDS Reaction Lx was an international workshop for architecture and design students that took place in Lisbon for two weeks in August 2013. Our project for the Caracol da Graça was one of the few selected and we consequently became the tutors of a ten-student team.
The Caracol’s stairs characteristics is that it’s one of the main pedestrian ways to get in and out of Graça neighbourhood. It’s called ‘the snail’ because of its spiralling pathway of steps.
However, vandalism and its frequent use by drug users had turned it into a hellhole that the local community and tourists were often afraid to walk through. these structures concealed part of the vandalism of which the Caracol was victim.
Our goal was to give the steps back to the community and contribute to a safer, more vibrant space. “Onde está a Graça?!” was based on this idea and served as an introduction to the neighbourhood, its people and the other MEDS Reaction Lx projects.
This introduction to the neighbourhood and its residents was intended to be interactive. This was achieved with a display of digitally manipulated photos of community members, which triggered interaction among tourists and passers-by, as well as benches in resting spots along the way and trash bins to discourage the spread of litter.
The project consisted of six different acts or interventions, each of which offered a different experience. The wooden structures were identical in all them.
With: Rúben Teodoro, Ricardo Morais
Collaborators: Monika Reut, Viktoria Petkovic, Matina Kostiani, Nina Marcussen, Claudia Vasiliu, Petra Peetra, Ece Ozbek, Irene Marcantonatos, Ioana Breaz, Giannis Messas, Carole Garton.