Architects: Cerejeira Fontes Arquitectos
Location: Caldas das Taipas, Guimarães, Portugal
Client: Avepark, Parque de Ciências e Tecnologia
Project Area: 4.484 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Cerejeira Fontes Arquitectos
The building is designated to house small and medium sized technological companies and a cultural space. It is expected to be a cultural reference and the nest for new companies in a new technological park.
The site was characterized as an empty space with very little references. There is a masterplan which hasn’t still been executed. The building is composed by several individual volumes configured within a spiral external peel.The exterior is rapped by a continuous concrete form that exposes the translucent interior of the building where the boxes of the companies are hung. It is a similar effect as the one of peeling of an orange, denser in the center, and less dense as we stand back from it. The effect of spiral allows us to see the internal spaces of the building, turning it more permeable to the light, and to the surroundings.
The access to the building is in the direction of the opaque element that unifies the block from top to bottom and we can enter at the level of the street.The block is set on pieces allowing us to cross from the external space between the parking lot and the future park to south, permitting people to view the interior of the building. The main entrance of the building is located in the middle of the structure distinguished with a facade in a larger dimension. The boxes for business technology services work as modular elements extended to the needs of each company. They are tied to structural elements, and suspended on the square, giving the building different degrees of transparency and light on the central space. Level 3 may become an extension of space for that kind of business. At the ground level a semi-public plaza is created, intended for cultural purposes. The building will be a reference point in the all technological campus, a gathering point and the stage for events and expositions. The suspended boxes of the 1st and 2nd floor plans house the administrative areas. They are suspended over the public plaza. The seperation of the boxes allows light to come down to the plaza giving different degrees of transparency and light on the central space.
The building was designed in order to exploit the use of natural light in all its spaces, mostly reflected or indirect, enhancing energy savings and visual confort. The exterior concrete envelope provides shade in the summer avoiding overheating in the interior spaces. The suspended boxes are separated allowing natural ventilation.