Location7800 Beja, Portugal
Architect in ChargeNuno Montenegro
Project Area11600 sqm
CollaboratorsCarla Cameira, Susana Ataíde, Rute Ribeiro, Pedro Carvalho e Mariana Medeiros
Text description provided by the architects. The School of Technology and Management of the Polytechnic Institute of Beja is a building of about 11600- sqm of construction area, set in a rectangular frame of 90x80 m2. The building was conceptually divided into five blocks from A to E.
The block A is the most impressive - a continuous pre-stressed concrete structure of 80,90m length. Its main characteristic is a unique portal frame with 50,80m span floating above school’s main entrance.
This portal frame consists of two columns, which are the circulation shafts, and a horizontal member containing two auditoriums for theory classes and an exhibition room at the center. That horizontal member of the portal frame consists of two longitudinal pre-stressed concrete box type beams overpassing the big span. These two beams, with different heights because of the configuration of the auditoriums, are the support of the roof and bottom slab of the auditoriums, at top and bottom flange level.
The higher beam, located at the bottom end of the auditoriums has 7,82 m height and lodges the corridor for the room’s access, and the other beam, at the upper end of the auditoriums, has a medium height of 3,50m.
In an article published in the New Yorker Design Magazine, CC Sullivan wrote: "Montenegro's architecture it's a bit surrealist, perhaps Giorgio de Chirico with a dash of M.C. Escher (...) concluding "the building never fails to create opportunities for reflection. The theatricality and grandeur are unmatched (...)"