Shelter for Pilgrims

The main focus of this proposal was to design a space whose characteristics solved the pilgrims physical and spiritual necessities such as hygiene and rest and reflection and introspection.

The sea shell, emblem of the pilgrims, inspired the form of this building creating a reunion space at its core which branches out into several individual intimate spaces for meditation. The Shelter’s identity is made mainly from ins and outs created by the Pladour boards which structure and protect it. These boards with equal gaps cast stripes of light agains the interior walls producing the required transcendent atmosphere.

A conceptual sketch of the Shelter's structure A computer generated image illustrating the Shelter for Pilgrims in the morning viewed from the outside A side plan of the Shelter for Pilgrims A computer generated image illustrating the Shelter for Pilgrims at night from an aerial view Floorplan of the Shelter for Pilgrims

In order to glorify this stage of the journey, the entry is made on an individual passage walk. Inside, a feet washing bowl recreates the Christian beliefs that after a long journey there should be an time to relax. Beyond the entrance a large communal space for the chapel and on the wall opposite is a Christian cross shape whole where light comes through.

A computer generated image illustrating the Shelter for Pilgrims' interior A computer render of architectonical details of the Shelter for Pilgrims A computer render of the structure of the Shelter for Pilgrims A computer render of the structure of the Shelter for Pilgrims A computer render of the structure of the Shelter for Pilgrims

Vienna House of Music

Music is intuitively recognised by any one of us. It’s a result of a manipulation of sounds and silences in delicate and meticulous sequences over a period of time, it is, by excellence one of the noblest expressions of the human culture. Rhythm, harmony, fluidity, are characteristics intrinsically connected to music and that arise thoroughly incorporated into this proposal.

The fluidity of the spaces, the set of curvilinear shapes that deviate and / or join, the search for harmony between interior / exterior, between form and function, full and empty, denounces the primary intention of overfill the characteristics of the object - Music - to the space that houses - the house of music in Vienna. Since this is the city by excellence of classical music, this new building will be, without  no margin of doubt, a reference of relevant importance at this level.

In regard to the implementation of the building, it was tempted that the building created a dialogue with both the city as planned and orthogonal as the city’s  clear, open and natural spaces – the garden.

A sketch of the main idea for the Vienna House of Music building A computer generated image illustrating the Vienna House of Music as seen from outside A computer render showing the interior of the Vienna House of Music with a prespective cut A computer generated image illustrating the interior of the Vienna House of Music

The interior is rich in mezzanines sets and that organize and streamline, always aiming towards the creations of fluid spaces, in constant dialogue with each other. The walls and ramps star in a delicate game of stress and strain space, emerging as a metaphorical adaptation of the violin bows to the walls of the building.

The floorplan for the Vienna House of Music A computer generated image illustrating the Vienna House of Music seen from outside on snowy weather

Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library

A conceptual sketch showing the three spaces of the Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library and their functions

Silence / noise, communication / Insight, Light / Shadow, every moment of the project searches for a smooth adaption between the program, the project and the site. The plan of this library was develop in order to generate a personal interpretation of the program, that overflows to the created form. The building conquests the land through three expansive gestures. Every gesture / volume arises from the interpretation and organisation of the program.

Act 1: Silence

In the first volume are located the reading rooms. The aim is to create comfortable and bright spaces propitious to introspection and reading.

Act 2: Noise and Interaction

In the second volume, the spaces seek for communication, interaction and socialisation, being located here the cafeteria, library and multipurpose room.

Act 3: Coordination

In the third volume are the spaces associated with the operation and administration of the library.

The Atrium, a functional distribution element, makes the connection between the three volumes, acquiring different characteristics in each volume.

A photograph of the model for the Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library A computer generated image illustrating the Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library seen from the outside on a sunny morning Floorplan of the Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library Four images of the model for the Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library seen from the North, East, South and West repectively A computer render of the three sections of the Vila Nova de Gaia Public library in side cut A computer generated image illustrating the interior of the Vila Nova de Gaia Public Library

Cinematheque

This competition is based on a particularity: the challenge was presented and the teams only had 48h to present a solution. The site represents the typical topography of Oporto downhill, extending to the river and providing a magnificent view of the bridge Luís I and the Fernandina historic Wall, - remarkable icons that conceives to the location an emblematic feeling.

The proposal should develop an intense relationship with the sumptuous location, recognising the local environment and toasting to the city a space for the movie lovers.

How could this relationship be developed? The concept was base on the reinterpretation of the Obscure Camara logic (the principal that led to the first camera): the whole building revolves around the idea of transition to a new atmosphere of introspection, silence and isolation as if it were a blackroom and Oporto’s landscape is captured through a pinhole camera, projecting it in the wall.

A computer generated image illustrating the Cinematheque seen from outside The floor plan of the ground and first floor of the Cinematheque A computer generated image illustrating the Cinematheque with a view to its interior

Collective Housing

This work was developed in three phases / moments, each one with specific purposes.

Moment 1: The City

The site to intervene is located in a residential area near to a strong centrality - the Boavista Rotunda. It’s dimensions demanded the designing of a new street allowed the access to the new blocks. All the areas for commerce and offices activity are located on streets with higher traffic, and with connection to important areas of the city - the street of Graciosa and Street of Quinta Amarela.

Moment 2: The Building

The second moment was the definition of a housing block. The direct connection, of the new block, with a preexistent building, created the necessity of develop a continuity between the two facades. The new house building result from the intersection of two bodies: one that gives continuity to the preexistent building and defines the balconies apartments, and, another one - the principal -, which contains de habitations.

A computer generated image illustrating the Collective Housing as seen from the outside at night A floorplan of the Collective Housing A floorplan of the Collective Housing

Moment 3: The Flat

The habitation scheme allowed the development of spaces that can be diluted, forming new spaces. The corridor is the element that distributes the different areas of the house and it can be extended slowly with the opening of the spaces that are connected to it.

A computer generated image illustrating the interior of the Collective Housing A computer generated image illustrating the interior of the Collective Housing

Student Housing

The difficulties of this project resided in the irregularity of the site. The project should respond and resolve the dialog between the surrounding XIX century architecture and the garden of ‘Virtudes’. Taking these constraints into consideration, the project goal was to design a continuity between the new building and their surrounding, without compromising their identity.

It was assumed that the garden would be public and without limited access, like the others city gardens of Oporto. Thus, the location of the resident was defined to be in the two highest platforms of the site. Beginning with the creation of a dialogue with the pre-existing buildings the new building starts in a vertical motion, for then become a large horizontal arm that subjugate the site.

The foyer - the element that articulates all the others spaces -is the joint element and the key image of all project; the connection point of the two main parts with different directions and distinct heights.

A sketch from the process of the Student Housing A photograph of the model for the Student Housing A photograph of the implementation model for the Student Housing A photograph of the implementation model for the Student Housing A photograph of the model for the Student Housing A photograph of the model for the Student Housing A photograph of the model for the Student Housing
Portrait of Vânia Coelho Santos

About

I am a Portuguese-Spanish-English speaker interested in iconic architecture. To me architecture is an art form that bleeds the concept of a building into a city's economy, identity and culture. Obsessed with Casa da Música in Porto, my hometown.

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