Manga-Vila Santa Thereza is a housing complex in Manaus, Brazil near the Amazon rainforest. The developments’ passive design principles have ensured that the energy consumption is well below the local average. This is achieved by cleverly working with the site orientation and cross ventilation to provide comfortable apartments with reduced need for heating and cooling.
Designed by Laurent Troost Architectures, the bright yellow colour of the metal screening takes its design cues from a mango tree originally located on the site, which influenced the project concept.
The development is compromised of two apartment blocks connected by a courtyard with 12 units in total, catering to a mix of residents from students to families and was selected by the Brazilian Architects Institute as one of the 20 projects to represent Brazil at the international phase of the 3rd Oscar Niemeyer Prize for Latin American Architecture, to be awarded in November this year.
– Longitudinal orientation which provides less exposure to the rising and setting sun
– Void between the apartment blocks acts as an element of thermal insulation
– A yellow metal grid was installed on the east and west facades to provide shade and reduce solar heat gain and sun glare
– Yellow metal grids reduce heat gain and reduce the need to cool the apartments
– Cross ventilation is used to cool the buildings
– Floor to ceiling windows provide ample natural light and lessen the need for lighting
– Solar panels are installed on the roof and provide lighting in the common areas
The typology proposes a kitchen / laundry area integrated with the living / dining area for all apartment models allowing greater interaction between users. Because it is located in one of the higher point of the city, and because it has floor-to-ceiling windows, all apartments have views of the street and the nearby neighborhood, but also of the distant Rio Negro, symbol of the Amazon. In short, the Vila Santa Thereza building tries to present conditions of passive sustainability and identical spatial qualities for all units in order to achieve social equality.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.