Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown / Charles Correa Associates

© José Campos, arqf architectural photography

Charles Correa Associates designed this research and diagnostic center located in . It is a state-of-the-art facility guided by some of the best scientist in the world. Correa says, “What makes me most proud about this project is that it is NOT a Museum of Modern Art. On the contrary, it uses the highest levels of contemporary science and medicine to help people grappling with real problems; cancer, brain damage and going blind. And to house these cutting-edge activities, we tried to create a piece of architecture. Architecture as Sculpture. Architecture as Beauty. Beauty as therapy.”

Architect: Charles Correa Associates
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Project Area: 50,000 sqm
Photographs: José Campos, arqf architectural photography

© José Campos, arqf architectural photography

The site, where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean, is steeped in history. It is the site where Henry the Navigator, Vasco de Gama and other great Portuguese left on their journeys into the unknown—a perfect metaphor for the discoveries of contemporary science today, Correa points out.

© José Campos, arqf architectural photography

The 3 units that constitute the project (the largest for the doctors and scientist, the second for the theatre, the exhibition hall, the Foundation offices, etc, and the third is an open-air amphitheater for the city) have been arranged to create a 125m long pathway leading diagonally across the site, towards the open seas.

© José Campos, arqf architectural photography

This pathway is ramped up (at a gentle slope of 1:20) – so as you ascend, you see only sky ahead of you. At the end of the ramp are two stone monoliths, straight from the quarry. When you reach the highest point, you begin to see a large body of water, which seemingly connects (i.e., without any visual break) to the ocean beyond. In the center of this water body, just below the surface of the water, is an oval shaped object—made of stainless steel and slightly convex, so that it reflects the blue sky and passing clouds above.

© José Campos, arqf architectural photography
© José Campos, arqf architectural photography
© José Campos, arqf architectural photography
© José Campos, arqf architectural photography
© José Campos, arqf architectural photography
© José Campos, arqf architectural photography

Project Team: Charles Correa, Sachin Agshikar, Manas Vanwari, Dhaval Malesha
Architect of Record: Glintt
Laboratory and Clinical Design: RMJM
Services: Vanderwell
Structure: LNM
Bridge Design: Joerg Schlaich
Lighting: DPA
Landscape: PROAP
Signage: Studio Dambar

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown / Charles Correa Associates" 03 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=140623>

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