Aldo Rossi's unbuilt housing scheme for Setubal, a fishing town outside of Lisbon, was designed for a site that gently slopes toward a coastal highway. While the building's base follows the topography, the roofline remains constant, stepping down once near the mid-point and creating two giant steps in the landscape. The lower building becomes a terrace overlooking the sea. As the ground recedes, Rossi's characteristic rectilinear forms are supported on pilotis, which create covered walkways with adjacent shops and community facilities. A water tower, echoing the industrial setting, marks an entrance to the building, while other similar cylindrical structures flag locations where streets cross below.
Publication excerpt from an essay by Bevin Cline and Tina di Carlo, in Terence Riley, ed., The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 134.