Alvito Complex / Claudio Sat Unipessoal lda

© FG+SG – , Sergio Guerra

Architect: Claudio Sat, Unipessoal, lda
Location: Gaeiras, Óbidos, Portugal
Project Team: Pedro Cancela, Gisela Ferreira, Ricardo Porfírio
Final design: Ana Duarte Pinto – João Manuel Alves, arquitectos lda
Project Team: Diana Parracho, Mariana Pimentel, Nuno Amaro, Manuel Vacas
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

With a covered area of 6,408 m2 this complex is located on a prime site for its landscape and environmental value with a view of the dam on the River Arnóia. The proposal tries to get the right implantation so as to minimise the impact of the intervention, formed by the grouping of constructions and of patios placed in terraces over the landscape. The bodies assume the proportions of parallel bands set out in an East-West direction, facilitating an unimpeded view of the landscape, which is also the case from the interior, where most of the spaces offer a panoramic view of the River Arnóia valley.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The control of the entrance, to the South, and the control of the pavilion, to the North, define the limits of this typology, the centre of which is the access atrium, placed equidistantly within the grouping. It is from here that the circulation that connects all the spaces starts, running in a North-South direction. We arrive at the main atrium by passing below the resource centre, through the access area, the institutional character of which defines a central and unifying space, not only within the building, but also for this sector of the district of Óbidos. Around this are the dining hall, the buffet and the multi-purpose and music room, all of which have the possibility of an independent entrance for the local population and of expansion into that open space.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The dentist’s room is also situated near to the main atrium which, duly equipped, can be transformed into a waiting room, with the secretary’s desk functioning as a reception counter for users, who may, alternatively, remain in the buffet. The multi-purpose and music room has a stage which can be extended into an outdoor stage. A series of glass doors can open up, meaning that shows can be put on expanding onto the surrounding open-air terrace, which considerably increases its spectator capacity.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Finally, and among the covered spaces on level 0, is the services sector of the school, concentrated around the services patio. There is a kitchen, the boiler room and the maintenance workshop and general storage. On level 1 we find the other spaces of the administrative system, besides the science laboratory, visual and technological education room, the computer room and the resource centre, all with excellent views and exposure to sunlight, besides a group of four classrooms and playground, in a more secluded position than those on level 0.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The resource centre, with a central location in the group, is characterised by an ample glazed area which leaves equipment such as shelves with books, tables and computers visible, announcing the activities that characterise and define this type of building. Near to the resource centre are the reprographics room and stationer’s, with easy access for the public through the stairs of the main atrium. To the North, the double pavilion and games field conclude this sequence of spaces and simultaneously relate the activities of the complex with Gaeiras Stadium.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Besides the access area mentioned, the other outdoor spaces include the area around the complex, where there is a series of spaces for playing and informal walks which, due to the disposition of the land, overlook the valley and the profile of Óbidos’ town walls, the playgrounds in the various outdoor patios of the school, and the car parks at the South end of the site.


Engineering: GPessa, Projectos de Engenharia
Acoustic performance: Ábaco, projectos
HVAC: I2DP, Ideias, Inovação e Desenvolvimento de Projectos de Engenharia, lda
Electrical, safety, telecommunications and intrusion installations: Prodinâmica, lda
Outdoor landscaping: Carla Silva, Arquitectura paisagista, lda
Constrution Company: José Coutinho S.A.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Alvito Complex / Claudio Sat Unipessoal lda" 04 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 03 Mar 2015. <>
  • Gonzalo

    i guess this practice’s motto is: Mr. Client…you don’t need Siza. We’ll do a copy for half the price. So many things you can see were taken from Siza’s work. Good copy i have to say.

  • msc

    I saw another Claudio Sat’s project and I thought “it looks a lot like Siza but it must be coincidence”…
    Now I see all this guy does is “copy & paste” Siza’s work!!!
    Shame on him and on Archdaily for promoting this.