The site is part of an industrial area outside the capital, Ponta Delgada, a mixture of old industrial buildings and mediocre suburban housing. After all, as Manuel Gausa wrote, the contemporary city cannot continue to be assimilated to a single ideal place – to be completed or rebuilt – nor to a single or possible formal model, but should rather be considered as a multiple, decomposed and bastardized space, dynamic and perpetually incomplete made up of interactive and connected coexistences and evolutions.
This project can be described as the Place of Places, as a result of a negotiated approach between buildings and landscape. The components of the program [housing and related structures for three hundred students] are distributed over four buildings suspended over a sequence of strips of gardens, each with different characteristics.
The parking strip and the urban street act as a connection area; the green band is a visual frontier, the central street manages the internal distribution, while the events line is the place where things happen: an orange grove, a playing field, a garden and a maze for lovers, a cycle path and finally, a multipurpose green area.
It is a work between the poetic and the pragmatic, which has brought something new thanks to an original approach to architecture, in which modern tradition blends with contemporaneity. By relentlessly exploring new avenues for architectural practice, with this project Machado Costa sets a turning point for architecture.

Carlos Sant’Ana, The Student House, in Domus 913; pp. 38-42.

[1º Prize in public competition; com a.s * – atelier de santos]