casalata proposal for urban social housing in cape verde
casalata proposal for urban social housing in cape verde casalata proposal for urban social housing in cape verde
oct 04, 2013

casalata proposal for urban social housing in cape verde

casalata proposal for urban social housing in cape verde
all images courtesy of casalata




providing a viable strategy to improve the housing problems of cape verde, an island off the coast of west africa, the ‘casalata’ project (meaning tin house) began with a short film that focused on the problems these ‘tin house’ neighborhoods suffer from. the architectural proposal hopes to raise awareness to the housing shortage and improve the living conditions of families living in sub-standard conditions. increased touristic and residential development in cape verde over recent years was characterized by abrupt and unsustainable growth, which resulted in low quality construction and poor urban planning. the high cost of construction, property land and a growing rate of unemployment has made purchasing and renting a home almost impossible for most cape verdians. the fringes of the cities are populated with illegal constructions which have spread through self build, creating new (sub)urban areas without any form of planning or rationalization. access to suitable housing and to sustainable urban planning is therefore fundamental to avoid or reduce poverty and social exclusion.


‘whilst producing the casalata film we became aware of the extent of the difficulties endured by the families living in the tin houses. the poor living conditions of the spaces coupled with a sense of hopelessness and social marginalization felt by the residents who have little choice but to live illegally’ says the designers.



‘casalata – official trailer’
video courtesy of casalata



a line of action was divided into three stages:


· firstly – produce a survey of the methods of construction and social organisation of the existing urban process in order to identify the positive factors and re-use them as tools in the development of the project for affordable social housing

· secondly – based on the research and data from stage 1, suggest smaller scale and affordable adjustments to the existing houses in order to provide immediate improvements to the residents’ living conditions. issues such as thermal comfort, ventilation and natural lighting of the living spaces could be addressed and made to be substantially more efficient.

· thirdly – develop a proposal for an affordable social housing project which incorporates the knowledge gained during stages one and two. this project will place an emphasis on minimising the environmental impact of the buildings and neighbourhoods and also on educating the residents by making them aware of their role in maintaining their urban conditions.


the shortage of housing in cape verde is not a problem that can be easily or quickly resolved, but this proposal hopes to make a positive step for finding a solution.



the architectural proposal hopes to raise awareness to the housing shortage in cape verde



casalata offers a strategy to improve the living conditions of families living in sub-standard conditions



cape verde has suffered from abrupt and unsustainable growth due to mass tourism



access to suitable housing is fundamental to reduce poverty and social exclusion



constructions – petrol drumming






strategy diagram






architectural ideas








designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • great initiative… keep up the good work

    ARQUIS says:

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