One of the houses in São Paulo’s Vila Matilde neighbourhood gets more than a second look from passers-by: it was designed by domestic housekeeper Dona Dalva, who had in mind something that would be both affordable and practical. Built using concrete blocks and pre-fabricated slabs of reinforced concrete as a means of reducing material and labour costs, the communal areas are all integrated, helping to increase the sense of spaciousness.
The structure was designed to make best use of the available space – 4.8 metres of width and 25 metres of depth, and cost a total of R$150 thousand reals (less than £35 thousand). The finish was done with fair-faced concrete, currently in common use in São Paulo architecture. With a living room, lavatory, kitchen, utility area and two suites, the house won the 2016 Instituto Tomie Ohtake AkzoNobel Architecture Award.