Architects: José Cabral Dias + Luís Miguel Correia
Location: Coimbra, Portugal
Authors: José Cabral Dias, Luís Miguel Correia
Collaborators: Daniel Gameiro, Luís Spranger Carvalho, Nuno Ferreira Barbosa, João Fôja, Patrícia Miguel, Vanda Correia
Photographs: Courtesy of JCD+LMC, Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
From the architect. The proposition here presented not only integrates the ordinary, but it also aims to go beyond vulgarity. Budget limitations as well as the expected intensive use have led the project to be extremely straightforward and essential in its principles, but this fact didn’t compromise the exploration of the plastic volume capacity, the global composition nor the spatial diversity.
The walls, the keeper’s house (Mr Freixo) and the bathhouse; the multi-sports field (made of screed stroked) and the football field (without grass) are the pre-existing elements.
Our project recognizes the Campo de Santa Cruz as physical expression of significant collective memories of both the city and the club Associação Académica de Coimbra. The older bathhouse building (building A), is a symbol of that heritage, which is ought to be kept: as Fernando Távora used to say, “all that really matters is our relationship with life”. And in that place we locate the bar, given to its public usage.
The new building (B) organizes the entrance space; it gives the previous construction not only scale but also a deeper spacial meaning, and it structures itself and the exterior spaces: according to the functional programme, Mr. Freixo’s new house is organized facing the football field, due to his effort and dedication towards the club and the athletes.
In the exterior space, the wood tunnel is intended to be a symbolic passageway between the floors; the project establishes a connection between the garden (Jardim da Sereia) and the city; and by the time the constructions started, biologists found a population of rare midwife toad -. as both architecture and sport must be in complete harmony with the concept of ecology, two wet places have been built, to North and South of building B, as well as a ditch around the football field. At the end of the process, our goals have been accomplished: architecture achieved its purposes and the frogs multiplied themselves.