Self-built structures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are the primary housing reaction to the city’s increasing population, densification, and lack of affordable housing. Known as favelas, these communities are often categorized under the same impoverished conditions when in reality; each is uniquely distinct in their character and response to context. As such, architecture that seeks to create longevity and sustainable change must treat each community with distinction.
Upon recognition that favelas are a permanent condition in Rio de Janeiro, this thesis considers self-building as a socially sustainable opportunity to improve impoverished living conditions. In the specific community of Pavão-Pavãozinho, the project proposes a site-specific architecture that seeks to mend the complex relationship between the formal and informal sectors of the city. Through an understanding of existing favela patterns, the design explores how architecture can both integrate and support existing self-building processes