Samuel Goncalves' housing model concept based on concrete sewage pipes

Portuguese architect Samuel Goncalves has installed a series of hollow concrete forms along the waterfront at the Arsenale, which are part of a modular housing system based on drainage pipes.

Goncalves and his studio at the Science and Technology Park of University of Porto developed the concrete segments for the prefabricated housing model called the Gomos System from standard infrastructure pipes.

The installation at the Arsenale – one of the Biennale’s primary exhibition venues – is titled Infrastructure-structure-architecture after its origins.

The architect said: “It’s not about inventing, but about reinterpreting – we take a preexistent constructive system often used in water drainage infrastructures and we make it a livable constructive system.”

“In structural matters as well as constructive ones, Gomos System is identical to reinforced concrete water pipes.”

Unlike the labour-intensive building model presented by Golden Lion-winner Solano Benítez and his studio Gabinete de Arquitectura at the Biennale, Goncalves’ concept is based on rapid deployment.

The segmented form is designed to be assembled in a factory over the course of 3 months and assembled on site in just 3 days.

Two screens installed within the concrete forms at the Arsenale show videos produced by the studio Building Pictures to show the prefabrication process from factory fit-out to finished timber- and slate-clad state.

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