the world's most visited architecture website
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Higher Education
  4. Portugal
  6. 2003
  7. Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal

Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal

  • 00:00 - 8 October, 2008
Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal
Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal

Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal + 18

  • Architects

    ARX PORTUGAL - José Mateus y Nuno Mateus
  • Location

    Barreiro, Portugal
  • Category

  • Project Team

    Paulo Rocha, Stefano Riva, Andreia Tomé, Clara Martins, Marco Roque Antunes, Nuno Grancho, Pedro Alves, Pedro Dourado, Pedro Sousa, Tânia Pedro, Francisco Marques, Sónia Luz
  • Structure

    TAL PROJECTO, Projectos, Estudos e Projectos de Engenharia Lda.
  • Client

    Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal
  • Area

    10500.0 m2
  • Project Year


Text description provided by the architects. The building site assigned for the School is located in the outskirts of the city of Barreiro. These are rural territories which were invaded by recent constructions intersecting green-gardens and reed plots.

Residence houses are predominant and other functions were not predicted for this area and so this neighbourhood is now just a suburb with little urban life. The soil, however, is quite interesting: broad, softly inclined and well-related with its shape - unevenness of 13,12 feet in perimeter to north and south - having at one end a dense forest of cork and large pine trees.

There are some projects that cause a public reaction even before its existence, and there one can find a great deal of important matters to consider. This school is such an example. The inhabitants of this "neighbourhood" protested against its existence because they wanted a primary school instead - which was transferred elsewhere -, but also because they feared the impact a building of large proportions would have, both visually and ecologically. Fearing that the trees would be cut down, they counted and marked every single one.

We aimed at imprinting to the building a somewhat ambiguous character. On one hand it "dissipates" and accepts the prevalence of the natural elements, on the other hand it deals with their presence as an artificial element of abstract origin. This principle is highlighted by the constructive choices: big coal-grey block that, when sectioned, reveals a white interior.

The architecture becomes more topographic in one of the extremities of the building, where there is no way to tell where the surrounding starts or ends, and in the opposite side, with its more present limits, defined by the alignment of the tops of the different bodies of the building.

The structure is placed in the middle of the lot, saving the third part to the north for parking and main entrance, whilst to the south the woods stop being a localized strip and now stretch around and over the building. From the set, one of the bodies of the building - the faculty area - rises in height, thus marking its presence within larger distances and configuring a new urban landmark.

View the complete gallery

Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Barreiro College of Technology / ARX Portugal" 08 Oct 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Read comments

Barreiro College of Technology / ARX

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.