Project in Detail
Colégio S. Tomás
Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos, LISBON, Portugal
World Architecture Festival 2009 - Shortlisted
FERNANDO GUERRA - FG + SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura
Inserted in the Master Plan of Alto do Lumiar, in Lisbon, the building is defined trough a pursuit of premises which support the current efforts of revitalization of the urban spaces - to promote new urban structures which dimensions and language follow not only the specific contingencies of present time, but also future requirements, as a result of a dynamic evolution. This is the goal of the proposal based upon a flexible and diversified space configuration, with an efficient performance that allows to create an independent organism which is able to characterize that fragment of the city.
The proposal appears as a scenic extension of the surrounding area whose limits assume an interstitial and informal nature, where movement and mutation are main features. Therefore, the ground floor suggests fluidity and dynamism, contrasting with the strength and sobriety of the building.
At first approach, nature melts the construction and this relation converges in an effective materialization. The platform appears as a transition between the different buildings, becoming responsible for unifying the set.
We are in presence of a permeable proposal where the elements strongly communicate among them selves. It is not required strict definitions of inside and outside spaces, even so they exist necessarily; for this purpose, the transition space is assumed as a mix entity that crosses information, gathering efforts for the flexibility and versatility of the set.
The autonomous volumes (materially distinct) are articulated in order to create a dynamic process of appropriation: materiality, color and neutrality – concepts that are present in a mixed and integrated environment.
It is possible to distinguish two independent bodies that are functionally and formally distinct. One of these bodies, assumed as the face of the complex, is defined as a consequence of the road system that directly serves the intervention area. Respecting the main axles, the building is defined by two independent volumes that support a third one, resting above them.
The existence of controlled opening, seeks for a lighted relation between interior and exterior, without destroying the reality that each one of the volumes locks up. Behind this assumed frontier that covers the whole complex, reaching for permeability and opacity at the same tine, new spaces are defined in order to promote the interior reality of the school. In this perspective, the continuity of the facade is guaranteed and the dynamism of the proposal is assured, suggesting a gradual personalization of the interior, through the successive overlapping of spaces.
The other body, more austere in volumetric terms, is imposed as great container of spaces. This volume exists as an independent unit and it is materially subdivided in two different parts: a dematerialized volume that organizes the whole system of circulations and another one that contains part of the school program. This last volume is defined by the subtraction of several shapes and this dynamic process is also another way to improve the conceptual idea of the proposal.
Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos