Plot Twist: Headquarters Where You Feel At Home
Client: Sotheby’s Real Estate
Architect: Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos
Location: Carvoeiro (PT)
As well as resonating with the local qualities of the coastal town where it is situated, the new headquarters of Sotheby’s Realty set own rules inside the existing walls of a traditional Algarve house. Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos have restated the conventional building techniques and materials in a way that evokes epicure yet snug ambience, which balances the solemnity of a headquarters building.
The existing structure has been modified to suit the new building program. A comprehensive demolishment on the inside and the addition of two skylights contribute to both the exterior image and the interior environment. The picturesque staircase lit by the skylight welcomes visitors at the main entrance and estranges them from the Mediterranean context for a brief period of time. At first glance, you may lose the sense of location, age or the program of the building you are in. However, the project manages to stay in touch with these reference points via the selection of color scheme, materials and furniture. The colours white and blue, set the overall atmosphere both in the interior and the exterior. While they sympathize with the local texture from outside, they also complement the minimalistic setting of the interior space.
The main façade has been stratified over the years. The design team’s approach is to form an estimate of its earliest elevation; but yet they have also added a cornice in traditional style, mimicking the other buildings in the region. Placed on a triangular area at the end of a steep street, the impression that the building creates is different in the front and the rear. As the front façade depicts a traditional two-storey Algarve house, the rear façade with the sharp angles of the skylights looks like a contemporary single-floor dwelling. The difference in the levels between the two façades makes it possible to enter the building from both floors as well. The main entrance on the front façade is designed for clients’ use; therefore it opens to the atrium and meeting rooms. The upper floor is arranged according to the needs of Sotheby’s team members and directly accessible from the rear entrance.
Fluidity by means of spatial organization has been the main objective of the architects from the beginning, which has also led to permeability in the conceptual sense. The new headquarters of Sotheby’s International Realty searches for ways to establish consonant relationships between the past and the present; the local and the international. It embraces opposite directions and carves out a niche within the range for itself.