Cobogo Social Housing, Santos Brazil 2010

Cobogó explores an undulating zigzag facade of alternating solid coloured panels with permeable cobogo cast louvre panels for a Brazilian low income housing competition. Environmental strategies drove this project, with a lay out to encourage cross ventilation through the facades to courtyards, the open entry stairs, and the vented rooves. It employs a traditional Brazilian louvre system in different scales and geometries. The component name, cobogó comes from the initials of three Brazilian engineers who developed the concept of a louvre block to balance internal daylight levels and encourage ventilation in the beginning of the 20th century. It was originally available in terracota but made widely available in cast concrete. The perforated surfaces on the balconies shade the walls reducing overheating and glare. This continuous street facade typology adapts to diferent sites and avoids the fragmentation of the urban block, a typical problem of modernist Brazilian urban planning. The proposal is at low human scale for a large housing scheme with shared entries for only 6 apartments with street parking, garden squares and extensive planting.