Text description provided by the architects. The site is located in Barcelos, industrial town in the North of Portugal. It refers to an existing industrial complex composed by two industrial pavilions and technical areas, detached from each other and placed over an 8 775 sqm area. The existing buildings are two story high on the frontside facing the entrance, gathering all main public and office areas, while the remaining areas were set to the production and storage processes. The exterior areas were essentially set to parking areas with narrow strips of vegetation and two entrance gates. The topography is composed by two plain platforms, linked by a ramp in between pavilions. The site is home to a textile manufacturing company and all the installations were licensed and fully operational.
The operation emphasizes on low impact measures within an integrative perspective, adding value to the landscape and urban surroundings. The biggest challenge was to enable a full-scale renewal of the existing buildings that implied a complex reorganization of working areas, while keeping all the company activities underway.
The goal was to renew, re-organize and expand a set of functional areas due to the limited and constricted spaces and disconnected areas. The overall design implied a complex and intense task of correct and adjust the functional layout, optimizing and updating all work areas towards a more efficient and articulated set of services. Our approach was to enforce a sense of identity, creating a uniform pattern of construction solutions and coating materials to assure spatial coherency, and to enhance the visual correspondence between the functional areas.
The redesign of the façades and exterior spaces were guided by the concepts of unity and formal homogeneity, leading to an overlay of a new skin in wavy perforated metal sheets along the existing exterior walls. The form, texture and permeability of this skin relates to the fabrics, primary material to the company. This formal analogy is then used in the interior spaces, mainly in the office modules located in the production areas and storage areas.