Cast as one piece: Community Centre by Aires Mateus
Client: Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Grândola
Architects: Manuel Aires Mateus, Francisco Aires Mateus
Location: Grândola (PT)
The building completely occupies its trapezoidal, 670-m² parcel of land. Its shape resembles the cast arrangement of various pyramidical bodies. Some have been truncated, while others extend to the roof to create skylights. These openings consist of dramatically shaped hollow spaces in the massive structure. The sleek, smooth outer shape stands in contrast to their vertical orientation.
All the spaces devoted to specific uses and storage form a layer surrounding the large event room. This gives the outer wall enough depth to accentuate the effect of the hollow spaces. Those openings in the outer wall seem to be a reinterpretation of forecourts and yards. From within, our gaze is directed through these deliberately places apertures towards details of the neighbouring buildings. In these places, the contrast between the two building styles is particularly clear.
The distribution of the space is created primarily with the geometric design of the ceiling. Curtains allow it the flexibility to accommodate both larger and smaller groups. The sleek design gives users all the freedom they need.