Text description provided by the architects. The new Judiciary Police Department headquarters, in Lisbon, Portugal, was inaugurated on 11 th March 2014. Saraiva + Associados was responsible for the architecture project, which aimed to conserve the history and values of this public institution. The total intervention area has 98.000 sqm.
«The Judiciary Police Department is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious and emblematic institutions in Portugal. Although we associate rigor, discipline and austerity to this institution, its new headquarters has a corporative but humanized image, without an austere scale. The geometric skin gives the new building a unified image, reducing its impact on the neighborhood», Miguel Saraiva, CEO and leading Architect at Saraiva + Associados, explains.
The exterior image of the building reflects a modern style of clean lines, through glazed facades interspersed with opaque elements, giving it a balanced composition of volumes. The building is equipped with high technology and safety features that make it one of the most advanced institutional buildings in Portugal.
The new building was built on a hierarchy of geometric recessions that reduce the impact on the urban surroundings. It has a Northeast/Southwest orientation, with maximum volumetric of 11 floors above the ground level and two large central courtyards that interleave the volumes and unify the built set. Its interior courtyards provide natural light, creating a pleasant workspace.
The new headquarters, located at Rua Gomes Freire, in Lisbon, is integrated into an urban site with great historical value, which Saraiva + Associados project intended to honor, creating a modern and functional solution.
Until the late nineteenth century this urban site was a transitional space between the rural suburbs and the historic center of Lisbon. In the transition to the twentieth century the site has undergone a marked process of urbanization with the construction of Camões College, in 1909, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, between 1927 and 1937, and the old Judiciary Police Department’s headquarters and National Identification Archives, between 1956 and 1958.
In the words of Judiciary Police Department’s National Director, Almeida Rodrigues, this headquarters «is amongst the best in the world for criminal investigation institutions». Portuguese Justice Minister, Paula Teixeira da Cruz, says this «high quality work allows the return of Judiciary Police Department’s to its original matrix, concentrating all services in a building, with greater operational efficiency and reduced maintenance costs»