City memory Porto, Portugal.
Family run businesses are closing, permanent residents must flee and go to live to the suburbs, this is a fact that we cannot change in the modern times of AirBnb, Ryanair and fast growing economical niches. How can architecture preserve history and collective memory?
In the world we live in, we see a huge development in local accommodation for attracting the fast visiting foreigners, that is in fact a great opportunity for a small quantity of citizens. For the rest of the citizens of European cities, this means an eternal search of a liveable accommodation for the residents and
their families and for the local shops their end.
The main subject of our exhibition is the contemporary issue of gentrification in Porto, Portugal that we encounter as well in other European cities.
In the main gallery space, we will recreate an urban situation for the visitors to experience the changes that are occurring in the streets of Porto. Projections (photographs or videos) of traditional shops (Barbershops, Bookshops and grocery
stores) that are slowly fading into construction-sites and suddenly being replaced by hip gourmet global stores, acting as parasites, far detached from Porto’s local context. With audio visual effects, this transition will awake an emotion of anxiety and melancholy guiding the visitor towards the city homogenization.
At the end of the path, the visitor is invited into one of the antique shops, where it will be possible to experience a virtual re-creation of one of those endangered
Cunha (case study)
Using “Virtual-Reality” we show the visitor the spaces of a recent case of gentrification in Porto, where the owner of a building will refunction all the apartments to hotel-rooms and needs the space of the traditional restaurant named Cunha to offer breakfast, to its visiting guests. This restaurant was projected by Victor Palla and Bento d´Almeida in the early 70´s and has cultural, architectural and historical value for the citizens of Porto. Besides this place is an example of the modernization and of the new forms of inhabiting and consuming in the cities.
The “secondary”/small/accessory room:
In the secondary space, we will present documents, photos and plans related with the cultural, architectural and historical value of snack bar Cunha and its gentrification.
Function: Research and exhibition design
Client: VPer Gallery Praha, CZ
Research: Alban Wagener and Luca Sabbadini.