LocationSenhora da Hora, Porto, Portugal
ArchitectsCarlos Prata, Nuno Barbosa
CollaboratorsSara Almeida, João Figueiroa, Gisela Lameira, Rodrigo Coelho, Filipa Pinto Basto, Joana Mendes, Gonçalo Silvano
PhotographsLuís Ferreira Alves
From the architect. Ricardo Campos Costa and Valério Leite who were the original authors of the concept had a clear objective in mind “Create a benchmark, A new building and service concept”.
Previous experience brought to light the essential factors in a project of such nature - flexibility to embrace the constant change of internal organization throughout the duration of the project, construction and lifeline of the building; and adaptability when it comes to fulfilling all norms and organization requirements of the health & safety act.
Thus a rectangular layout was developed, having a nucleus comprising – a unique boxed staircase, mechanical vertical passageways, common sanitary installations and the main infrastructure ducts – forcing a separation between public and staff circulation. An exterior walkway was included, allowing at present or at a later stage, the inclusion of the necessary emergency exits.
The Building acquires a greater dimension with the separation between staff and public, the users acquire greater sense of space towards the exterior, whether they are static or in motion within the building.
The building’s original dense concept is altered to an unity feeling, this is achieved by a shading game that is only visible at close proximity – designed by the plastic artist Angelo de Sousa – this shading game protects the extensive glass structure from excessive sunlight and also gives the building a unity feeling opposed to the concept of density.
The photos and drawings presented allow us to understand the scale and proportions of the building but don’t give the right apprehension that we can experiment in a local viewing, what is obvious, but in this case very important because we face a non-build environment.