Vodafone Headquarters / Barbosa & Guimarães

© FG+SG – , Sergio Guerra

Architects: Barbosa & Guimarães
Location: Porto,
Principals in Charge: José António Barbosa, Pedro Lopes Guimarães
Collaborators: Ana Campante, Ana Carvalho, Ana Mota, Daniela Teixeira, Eunice Lopes, Filipe Secca, Henrique Dias, Hugo Abreu, Nuno Felgar, José Marques, Miguel Pimenta, Pablo Rebelo, Paula Fonseca, Paulo Lima, Raul Andrade, Sara Caruso
Client: Vodafone
Structure: Afaconsult / Carlos Quinaz
Hydraulic: Afaconsult / Marta Peleteiro
Electrical: RGA / Luis Fernandes
Mechanical; RGA / Pedro Albuquerque
Contractor: Teixeira Duarte
ConstructionManagement: Pedro Coelho
Project Year: 2006-2008
Construction Year: 2007-2009
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

In July 2006, when we were invated to the new building competition, through the media, radio, television and newspapers we could notice the following slogan: “VODAFONE LIFE, LIFE IN MOTION.”

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

This sentence reflects the attitude and philosophy of Vodafone.

We believe that the new building should be faithful to this idea, adopting a dynamic image, conveying the sense of movement, challenging the static.

section 05

Seeking inspiration from painting, sculpture, photography, arts which had already faced this dilemma, the office building, designed usually linear, begins to become an irregular body, out of balance, with many faces in motion.

The formalization of this concept is based on the concrete, which through its plasticity, allows to create irregular and free-form shapes, working both as a structural solution and exterior appearence, creating a unique shape, a monolithic building, bringing cohesion and unity to the set.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The technical complexity of the building leads to a periphery structural solution, a shell of concrete, like an egg, reducing internal support to the two stairwells and three central pillars, allowing great versatility in its interior space use.

Functionally, the building has eight floors working three as underground.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

On the ground floor, in addition to the auditorium, we have a store facing the Boavista Avenue, the cafeteria and office acess.

In the four upper floors appears the offices working as open-space with an accessible terrace.

In the underground, the floors -3 and -2, are working as car parking facilities and the -1 floor is occupied by technical areas and training rooms.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Vodafone Headquarters / Barbosa & Guimarães" 31 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=54336>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow…brandscapes. In my humble opinion, a majority of these brand-turned-environments fall flat, but this is a very impressive building from an identity standpoint. This will probably garner some criticism for the apparent randomness of the generated form, but sometimes these things just work. The only problem I see is that it renders 99% of work environments as droll. Enjoy working jealously in your bland cubicles tomorrow, friends!

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      After visiting it I can say this photos make the building look much more interesting than it actually is. Great photos.

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        could You write the adress of this building, becouse i would like go there?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Ironically, the walls are so thick that when I visited this building last month my Vodafone mobile had no signal inside.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    ok, so it’s a oddly shaped building with miserable little slits for windows. pure kitsch.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The building works well, it is well-made but when you see the Casa da Música (Rem Koolhaas) building in the end of that avenue (Boavista), you can see where they got the concept.. that´s the (very) poor side of the project.

    You can support one building like Casa da Música in the streets of Porto but when you get a load of them in the same place, it loses its impact and the city looks like a “zoo” of architecture.

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        The same thing that’s wrong with a regular zoo: It’s nice to have one in your city, but not in your front yard.

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      Boavista is massive though, you can’t even see one from the other.

      Both have a tectonic feel and similar materiality, but I wouldn’t say they drown each other out as other than the first line of the address the have no relation to one another.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    its like a messed up model from sketchup, as if novelty of forms would mean a good architecture

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      when you look at plans and section cuts you see the extra space that these ‘masks’ take around a standard organized building

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What a breath of fresh air!!! Ja, ja…I know timeless architecture and the likes…blah blah….but this is REALLY REFRESHING!! THANK YOU!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    of course, to build this building it is the step to investigate authors creativity… in spite of critisizm. You always should make most impressive things what you can… It is my way and my point of view.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    its a rip of rem koolhaas, in almost every aspect..
    im tired of this project…

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    primeiro que tudo parabens aos arquitectos!!!

    I think this project probably shows a great deal of influence from the likes of Rem. But why is that not good? If there is a general criticism that i could make of the majority of interventions here shown from Portugal is that they are very referential to modernism. This does not mean they are generally bad, but simply not as creative as they should be I believe. I know that in Portugal budget is always an issue and this influences the output, but it´s still nice to see an attempt at conceptual integration and branding of a project. Not perfect but hei!
    As for Rem, What’s the problem about learning from the man? Surely this is a good thing!

  10. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    looks interesting… but I do not know if it’ll stay interesting in a few years.. maybe feeling sick.

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