becos com saída

Becos Com Saída is an initiative founded by oitoo in 2016 that, back to Porto, have realized the general lack of public places which would allow a day-by-day use, where different events and initiatives could be activated, improving the quality the local community’s life and the sense of belonging.

What if, one day, that vacant lot behind the wall in your neighbourhood opened its doors and became a garden? A playground? An urban farm? A meeting point for chess players?

We firmly believe in rekindling the civic consciousness that has been subdued in our increasingly individualistic and isolated social context.Therefore, we set out to engage with the community in several of Porto’s neighbourhoods through an urban action inspired in Candy Chang’s I wish this was public participation project.

The process started with the mapping of a certain type of urban plot within the city’s fabric: vacant, unbuilt, abandoned or just “in the wait”. Additionally, we selected plots that established a clear relation with the street, through a wall or a gate, or even the façade of a derelict building with clear boundaries. All these plots shared the common condition of becoming something else, and until that moment arrives, why not propose some actions to activate them with temporary uses that benefit both ownership and community? Mapping these plots was the first step to make them visible to the community.

MAR office collaborated with oitoo to develop the Brand Strategy and Identity concept: Becos is an enclosed space, a void in the dense city fabric; Com Saída indicates its potential, the exchange with the public realm. The space and its program are the main reference of the BCS Logo and the basis of the whole Identity: an open frame and a charged void for multiple scenarios.
The space of the Logo extends its use to different purposes becoming a real device of communication at every scale. It’s been declined in three frames which combined to a scheme of eight vibrant colours generate an infinite and variable range of possibilities; the contents occupy the void. This system allows using the same elements for letters, stickers, flyers, posters and each kind of necessary support amplifying the concept of BCS.

Starting from March 2018, oitoo, sponsored by Association of Portuguese Architects (OASRN), organized four urban actions in different neighbourhoods in Porto. The idea was to select specific plots and invite local residents and passersby to become familiar with these sites and reflect on potential uses for them.

Faced with this task, they often considered what was missing in the area and expressed their wishes for the outcome of each plot, through the use of stickers that collected all these different voices.

By recognizing the hidden civic potential of these plots, we propose, within a short-term timeframe, a realistic way to manage and activate them while they wait for definitive uses. Hopefully, the opinions registered in the stickers will inform a temporary use proposal for the plots that adhere to this initiative.

promotional video credits: canal180

Porto, 2018

a vacant plot

a vacant plot

vacant plots in one single neighbourhood  Porto, 2016

vacant plots in one single neighbourhood

Porto, 2016

Graphic Design, Banding Strategy and Identity concept.  Developed with MAR office  2016

Graphic Design, Banding Strategy and Identity concept.

Developed with MAR office


urban mapping of vacant plots in Porto

urban mapping of vacant plots in Porto

urban actions “eu queria que isto fosse” (I wish this was…)

Porto, 2018