The IAPI housing estate in Honório Gurgel: Elements of Permanence and Transformations


  • Sergio Fagerlande FAU UFRJ
  • Ana Claudia Souza Research and Contemporary Culture Institute



One of the major contributions by modern architects and urban planning specialists has been their concern with housing, especially that of the privileged. One of the good examples of this trend in building housing estates, linked to the policies practised by the Brazilian Government in the 1940s is the [borough of] Honório Gurgel IAPI housing estate, designed by architect Eduardo Pereira de Carvalho and civil engineer Adolpho Constant Burnay, of the IAPI's Engineering Department, inaugurated in 1947. The story behind this housing estate and its relation with the Northern Rio de Janeiro borough, its origin related to the train service and the industrialisation projects then blooming in the country and in the city, and of how the popular participation played its part, with the citizens and in the borough, is the object of this paper, where an attempt is made to understand how the local history was influenced by this housing estate and how it continues to relate with this architecture and the urban implementation, in its public and private spaces, in the domains intentionally built and those found in the residual areas. The article also focuses on how the occupation of the residual spaces has been happening along the railway, done by dwellers of the old housing estate, and on how spaces that were not specifically designed to such end became important for their inhabitants. The work seeks to relate these spaces with the living experiences of their dwellers, as done by Jan Gehl, and does it not only through an observation of the borough and of the use given to its public spaces, but also focusing on the history of the housing estate and that of the entire neighbourhood. Based on the work of authors such as Nabil Bonduki and Ana Paula Koury, who studied the architecture of the housing estate and the social history of popular housing in Brazil, and on the work by Zuleika Souza, who provides an account of the experiences of dwellers based on her own experiences as a dweller and community activist, and on the work of authors who studied the growth of urban formation in Rio de Janeiro, such as Mauricio Abreu, this article seeks to recover an important experience that lingers on, showing the relevance of architecture and urban planning, at that time of modernism for the city, its public spaces, as well as its dwellers.


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How to Cite

Fagerlande, S., & Souza, A. C. (2016). The IAPI housing estate in Honório Gurgel: Elements of Permanence and Transformations. International Planning History Society Proceedings, 17(4).