Pátio Ambulante emerged as an interventionist architecture project to build communal spaces through collective processes.
In 2013, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale launched an open call to award 10 Crisis Buster Grants and engage a diverse group of people in a movement to fight the crisis through long-term planned social and civic solutions. Pátio Ambulante won one of these grants for its proposal to open the doors of the Pátio of São João with a collective cultural program. The pilot project closed with being awarded a participatory budget by Lisbon’s City Hall for the implementation of Pátio Ambulante during the next two years.
An urban typology in Lisbon
The concept of the “patio” served initially as a cultural, architectural, and typological reference to explore the shared use of these spaces. The pilot project temporarily transformed the private patio of São João, in the Santana hill, with an open cultural program created collaboratively with the neighboring population.
For four days, we received over 400 people of all ages and social backgrounds who celebrated the arts, their neighborhood, and their schools in between concerts of jazz, reggae, and classical music. There were workshops in sewing, fixing appliances, and ceramics for children and adults.
We collaborate with artists of different disciplines to develop replicable intervention strategies in public space.
This was the laboratory to create what would then be reproduced in other spaces throughout the city, becoming an itinerant intervention. We licensed over fifteen public spaces for temporary occupation and created the programs in partnership with local institutions and initiatives. We strived for a collective learning process in Lisbon about the urban and its reappropriation. Through open calls, artists joined the endeavor bringing in their expertise in theater, music, dance, and gastronomy, willing to adapt their work to public spaces.
Mobility and Proximity
An old-time fire truck as performative office, ice-cream shop, and platform for urban art
Due to its topography and built heritage, Lisbon offers many unique public spaces such as viewpoints and squares to be explored. We use an old-time fire truck to make our events itinerant, making each space welcoming and free from mandatory consumption through urban furniture. Situations emerge where it is possible to play, sit, meet, paint, or relax around the city. The truck allows the project to maintain a high level of mobility as well as a certain level of self-sustainability through a small ice-cream shop for members in its interior.
The fire truck creates a gathering space anywhere in the city.
How to create community spaces?
Since 2014, Pátio Ambulante designs, builds, and negotiates strategies for experimental urban interventions and occupations. It also simplifies the bureaucratic processes involved in accessing public space and explores the collective dynamics in private spaces in the same way. We develop impulses and methodologies that integrate architecture and art as participatory tools for the creation of space and social cohesion.
Translucid tiles workshop at Pátio Dom Fradique
Promoting the project Maria Curraleira Studio
Our interventions constantly explore the access we have to public space and the way we occupy it daily.
Residents meeting at Vila Cândida
SWAY is a walkable installation for urban spaces that transforms firm ground into a grassbubble-platform, developed in 2020/21. In the pilot edition commissioned this summer by Festival A Porta in Leiria, we tested the viability of a large-scale installation. The enthusiastic feedback from the audience imbued the project with new impulses for the creation of partnerships and the developing of resilient and adequate prototypes for long-term use in public space.
Slow Studio is a device for urban research that invites passers-by to share trajectories, affects and personal memories in the city for the creation of an individual map drawing. The testimonies were illustrated in real time by the artist Lucas Armendani, creating a visual archive of urban trajectories. This urban research tool helps us understand how the city is lived, seen and inhabited by its citizens. It’s a participative exercise that produces and interrogates maps, bringing us closer to the inhabitants and their neighborhoods.
Lisbon [TASCAS] - Traditional portuguese restaurants
This project focuses on the urban typology of the tasca, a popular family business essential to Lisbon’s local culture that has been serving the daily dish for over 60 years. Since in archeology the most informative remnants can be those that reveal the culinary habits of the respective culture, we proposed to observe the contemporary city through its most popular and affordable kitchens.This collaborative and transdisciplinary research project resulted in a printed publication, a memory game, and an online archive.
Urban Editions publishes fun and engaging books and games that get people together around architecture, urbanism, and social concerns. This initiative was developed for community urban projects by Frame Colectivo, a studio for Architecture, Research and Art.
For artistic workshops in public space
Bring art to the street by expanding accessibility, inclusion and reflection in the space we co-inhabit.
About remembering and forgetting
Abstraction, pause, balance, marking, movement, resistance, adaptation. These were some of the key elements defining the conceptualization of the scenography for Paula Diogo´s piece “About remembering and forgetting” dealing with collective and individual memories.
Triste in English from Spanish
Four trapezoidal tables and one vertical structure in wood and aluminum were designed and built to meet the needs of the performance play “Triste in English from Spanish” by Portuguese choreographer Sónia Batista.
Gathering and information points in the archaeological site of the Quinta do Almaraz
For the opening of the archeological site in the Quinta do Almaraz in September 2017, Frame was invited to design and create the concept line for the guided tours around a 2 km visit path. The results of the project were published in a free e-book.
2º Torrão - Researching points
“Will the sea swallow the 2º Torrão? When? How?” Assuming this question as a starting point, presented from the residents of the settlement of 2º Torrão, the participatory scientific project “Novos Decisores Ciêncies” investigates the coastal erosion. Frame Colectivo participated in the 2017 edition proposing the construction of three meeting places, having returned in 2020 to do maintenance.
Pátio in Santos
Invited by O Nosso Km2, Frame Colectivo projected and built a leisure park in the neighborhood of Santos ao Rêgo (Rua Marciano Henriques da Silva). We moved into an empty shop in the ground level of number 32 of the same street, using the space as office and storage.
The short film 767 follows the itinerary of the 767 bus of Carris from Campo Mártires da Pátria to the subway station of Reboleira. We created a darkroom in the back of the fire truck and did the same path behind the bus.
Proposal for the open call CRIAR LISBOA (EGEAC)
We were invited by the project O Banquete (festival to think and eat) to create a set design in public space for an outdoor iteration of the festival with high school students. For the open call CRIAR LISBOA, we developed the project Acute Strawberries for the Miradouro do Monte Agudo (viewpoint), attempting to create a space for dialogue and promoting discussion about healthy eating in the urban context. We proposed the creation of a decontextualized hydroponic strawberry plantation that would offer shade and a new landscape for the viewpoint.
Maria Curraleira Studio
Collaborative multimedia platform dedicated to urban narratives
The proposal of the Studio Maria Curraleira is a pilot project for the creation of a multimedia production studio in Vale de Chelas. As an open local platform, it aims to accompany the digital collection of local narratives that describe the history and the daily life of the former Curraleira neighborhood, thus promoting social cohesion.
Frame Colectivo was invited by Festival TODOS – Caminhada de Culturas 2015 to organize a series of open-air building workshops. These workshops transformed the garden in Campo Mártires da Pátria into a living room for all to enjoy.
Conversations about inhabiting the city
“Ma propre ville ne serait qu'imagination, elle proviendrait de la folie of my body!(…)Me then I wouldn't exist either!”
- in The city does not exist, Sylvain Berteloot
Pátio in Penha
The curatorial line of this exhibition aimed both at presenting to a broader public the results of the project Performapping
, realized throughout May 2015 in squares, vilas operárias and viewpoints in Penha de França, and to redefine the entrance of the Espaço da Penha as a semi-public community space.
The project Performapping resulted as a series of experimental activities focusing on the research of the socio-cultural urban reality in the parish of Penha de França. Together with a team of activists, anthropologists, and performers, we engaged in various forms of mapping, video art, photography, and installation. Questions of identification, collaboration in the decision-making of public space, and social dynamics between community entities guided the interventions throughout the project.
During our research in the Vale de Santo António area, we set a specific focus on Vila Cândida, a social housing unit from the early 20th century. This complex is located in a difficult topographic setting with great altitude variations. Of particular importance were the entrance situation, defined by two concrete columns and a vacant lot, and a community space that was destroyed by a car accident.
In the beginning of 2015, the campaign Vai Rebentar consisted in distributing bags with Seedbomb to be spread around the city. Each bag also had the recipe and user instructions. Seedbombs are balls of earth with seeds, ready to be planted anywhere. The interventionist gesture of throwing a Seedbomb to embellish the city produces the beginning of the sensation of power to decide and to create change. A simple and minor surgery as consciousness raiser.
The Other Side of the Wall
The project The Other Side of the Wall raises questions about the stigmatization of the Health Park, former Júlio de Matos Hospital, and about the urban isolation due to the wall built around it. Accepting an invitation by the Coruchéus Public Library to participate in the Dias de Bem Cá Estar, Frame Colectivo, in partnership with Rádio Aurora, focused on developing strategies for the inclusion of the public space of the Health Park in the Alvalade neighborhood.
In search of adequate urban furniture to accompany our activities in public space, we developed a robust prototype with recycled materials that was easy to transport and had high recognition value.
Creating the public library of Trafaria
During a workshop in July 2014, the Association EDA (Ensaios e Diálogos) and the municipalities of Trafaria and Costa da Caparica collaborated to create the furniture for the Trafaria Library. Located in the central square of the small fishing village, the library disposes of a former office space on the first floor next to the local market. Due to the success of the activities, the project expanded to the ground floor reusing an abandoned shop as a cultural space in 2015.
Pátio Dom Fradique
The Pátio Dom Fradique is located in the backyard of a former palace that has direct connection with the Castelo de São Jorge, one of the most touristic areas in Lisbon. It consists of former housing units, now in ruins, through four elevation levels. After changing owners several times, the Pátio Dom Fradique is now property of the Municipality of Lisbon. The old palace has been remodeled into one of the most expensive hotels in the city center.
Translucid Stencil Tiles
One of the research themes in 2014 focused on the cultural heritage of traditional Portuguese tile-patterns. The project Translucid Stencil Tiles resulted from a knowledge exchange with Maria Caetano from “Lugar da Cerâmica.” She shared the methodology behind the creation of traditional tiles, which then resulted in a series of patterns cut in acrylic sheets at FABLAB Lisboa.
Vertical Gardens is a proposal for Lisbon’s Participatory Budget 2014 that offers an alternative concept for the many semi-destroyed buildings belonging to the Municipality of Lisbon. Deriving from studies that demonstrate the positive effect of vertical vegetation in the cities and the need for urban requalification, the project focuses on the dismounting part of the already destroyed fronts, leaving only the raw structure of the building, including basic infrastructure like water and electricity systems.
Open Patio was the launching event of Pátio Ambulante. It took place at the Pátio of São João in the Santana hill, in September 2013. This private space was temporarily transformed, opening its doors with a diversified cultural program created in collaboration with the resident population.
During the first edition of Pátio Ambulante, the wish to deepen the knowledge about the patios in Lisbon lead us to create an itinerary throughout the city spanning three months.
Looking for the perfect platform to assist the projects by Frame Colectivo, the three conditions were mobility, multifunctionality, and memorability. The best available option, and the one we immediately fell in love with, was an old-time fire truck Mercedes 408 from 1975, which we now use as multifunctional and adaptable intervention platform. Not only does it facilitate the direct contact with the public, but it also works as mobile broadcasting system, easily adjustable to any project.
It all started in Moabit, Berlin. We focused on the Arminius Markthalle, a market from 1890, and worked from a small office inside the building researching participation methods for its revitalization. We learned so much from the flexibility and the endless possibilities offered by the structural cast iron frames of the market, that we integrated the concept as our guiding principle. Frame Colectivo was born!