CUF Institute / Carlos Prata + Nuno Barbosa

© Luís Ferreira Alves

Architects: Carlos Prata + Nuno Barbosa
Location: , Porto, Portugal
Architects: Carlos Prata, Nuno Barbosa
Photographs: Luís Ferreira Alves

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Project Area: 22,365 sqm
Collaborators: Sara Almeida, João Figueiroa, Gisela Lameira, Rodrigo Coelho, Filipa Pinto Basto, Joana Mendes, Gonçalo Silvano

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”.

© Luís Ferreira Alves

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.

© Luís Ferreira Alves

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.

© Luís Ferreira Alves

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.

© Luís Ferreira Alves

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.

© Luís Ferreira Alves

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.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "CUF Institute / Carlos Prata + Nuno Barbosa" 12 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>