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Cultural Centre on the Azores by Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados and João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto

Concrete abstraction: Cultural Centre on the Azores

Among the production and storage halls of the former industrial complex, the architects have added two new structures. Storage space, a multifunctional hall and various spaces for artists now stand alongside the old factory buildings. Altogether, the conversion should preserve the industrial character of the area and form a harmonious combination of old and new buildings.

In their architectural style, the new buildings represent a new interpretation of the existing factory halls. The abstraction of existing shapes and surfaces has created an overall concept that joins the old and new structures in a unifying way. The abstract shapes of the new buildings take up the axes and reference points of the surrounding structures, engendering new spatial and access arrangements.  

The monolithic appearance of the new buildings is reinforced particularly by the materiality of their surfaces. The exposed concrete with added basalt creates a rough texture for the wall surfaces. This rough material is similar to the unplastered masonry seen in the factory halls. The concrete walls form part of a passive energy concept whereby the thermal storage mass and inertia of the material will lead to comfortable temperatures inside.

With this project, the architects have succeeded in bringing together various shapes, sizes and typologies. The abstract yet clear architectural language of the added buildings has created a well-balanced composition that maintains the industrial charm of the old factory grounds. Old and new meet here in the meaningful dialogue that is the object of the shape and materiality of the structures. This one-time industrial area has become a new cultural rendezvous, a special place on a small island in the Atlantic.

Kurze Werbepause

Project management: Adalgisa Lopes, Jorge Teixeira Dias, Inês Mesquita, Filipe Catarino

Team (Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados, Lda.): Cristina Maximino, João Pontes, Luís Campos, Ana Leite Fernandes, Mariana Sendas, Pedro Costa, Inês Ferreira, João Fernandes

Team (João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Lda.): Catarina Fortuna, Ana Cerqueira, Ana Rita Martins, António Ferreira da Silva, Cláudia Santos, Joana Figueiredo, João Branco

Competition: Diogo Laje, Óscar Ribas, Ricardo Cardoso (Estúdio Goma)

Civil engineering: Hipólito Sousa, Jerónimo Botelho, Pedro Pinto (SOPSEC,SA)

Construction company:  Consórcio Somague, Marques S.A. e Tecnovia.

Construction supervision: Pedro Câmara (Eng. Tavares Vieira, Lda.)

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