These and many other questions might now start to find their answers after decades of omitting their social, economical, political, territorial and architectural relevance. The Mapping Public Housing Database, under permanent construction, will be available for this line of questioning and for others the future might bring.
The “Mapping Public Housing” Database is a part of the Investigation Project by the same name and an open device designed to boost a critical reflection and propagation of the architecture that erected, through different programmes, affordable housing in the Portuguese 20th century. The focus is on an “other architecture”, framing a debate on the day-to-day production of architectural design that, although largely forgotten by history, shaped our territory and paved the way to our modernity.
This partly open-access database is hence not only a typological chart of housing estates and programmes and of the documentary sources that they generated but also a starting point for an updated discussion of narratives and counter-narratives that rebel against orthodox historiography and suggest different canons.
The extent of its data will also surpass the limits of the Project’s study period, encompassing the final decades of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st to include seminal references in the field of collective housing. A broad national and international context is therefore made available for the observation of the trading of norms and models between public promotion and private investment.