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Architectural Concepts
Key concepts embodied in the competition submission include the modular planning and assembly of residential units into echelon configurations surrounding community spaces. These interstitial spaces evoke urban streets and plazas, with multiple meeting spaces clustered along circulation paths. The exterior modulation of the facades created by the echelon serration visually articulates the scale of the overall building volume. In reference to Portuguese vernacular urban architecture, coloured facades, balconies, and planters are expressed to create identity, individuality, and a sense of place. The vestigial Chapel is conceived as a place of pilgrimage, available for worship and contemplation by residents and community visitors. The Chapel is approached across an orchard planted with a trinity of Pêra de Rocha trees, adding further local meaning and symbolism.

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Color, Connectivity, and Community
echelon2 is typical of how each echelon is organized along several circulatory and visual connectivity axes. The circulatory axes [1] provide horizontal, vertical and egress pathways for accessible routes. The visual connectivity axes [2] and [3] of interior spaces, bedroom units, and community areas are crucial to providing safe, observational care and support to residents. A transference of the color of each facade [4], i.e., outside to inside, reinforces the community analogy and personalizes the identity of each residential unit.

A sustainable approach, is proposed, that follows the three ‘R’ principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, for co² reduction. This approach minimizes the whole life cycle impact on the environment.

The selection of precast modular concrete construction, for the echelon project construction method produces the following positive advantages: By optimizing the design using advanced precasting technologies and new concrete material technology, the ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) delivers superior strength with reduced tolerances, thinner sections. Additionally, this pre-engineered solution reduces on-site construction assembly times.

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