Municipal Pools of Povoação / Barbosa & Guimarães

© João Ferrand

Architects: Barbosa & Guimarães / José António Barbosa & Pedro Lopes Guimarães
Location: Povoação, São Miguel, ,
Collaboration: Miguel Pimenta, Paula Fonseca, José Marques, Henrique Dias, Marta Horta, Luís Monteiro, Amandine Evrard
Structural Engineering: Época / António Martins
Hydraulic Engineering: dhv / Dias da Costa
Electrical Engineering: rga / Paulo Oliveira
Mechanical Engineering: rga / Pedro Albuquerque
Contractor: Irmãos Cavaco
Project Direction: Tolda Abreu, João Ribeiro
Project Year: 2007-2008
Photographs: João Ferrand

location plan

The village of Povoação is located on the Archipelago of the Azores, on the southern edge of the island of S. Miguel.

Protected from the sea by a slope, the building is going to occupy a plot comprised of a flat, rectangular platform already prepared and used by the Municipal Council for other outdoor sports activities. This platform was achieved by «sacrificing» the slope, imposing a cut that distorts its natural volume.

© João Ferrand

The project takes advantage of the existing cut to construct the building along its length, seeking a «fusion» between the new construction and the surrounding landscape.

Its volume is fragmented and «runs», forming masses of black basalt, which correspond to the various functional groups of the programme.

section 02

The coverings are «contaminated» by the green of the surrounding fields, punctuated by skylights, which ensure natural lighting of the interior spaces.

A square of basalt gives physical support to the building, defining courses and accesses around an Araucaria, whose verticality and symbolic load announce and upgrade this new public space.

ground floor plan
© João Ferrand

Inside, the programme is organised from the competition and training tanks, maintaining basalt as the dominant element in the entire composition.

On the upper floor, an outdoor esplanade supporting the bar looks out to sea.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Municipal Pools of Povoação / Barbosa & Guimarães" 21 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Rembo

    So, emmm, like, you just copied Zumthor’s Vals but forgot to show us the bathing pools? Way to go Barbosa and whats-your–face!

    • california

      @ Rembe. The projects are very different. You must not know the projects.

      good job Barbosa & Guimarães