Platforma Artes Guimarães, New Portugal Architecture, Portuguese Arts Venue Photos

Platform of Arts and Creativity in Guimarães

Portuguese Arts Venue by Pitágoras Architects – article for e-architect by Carlos M Teixeira

12 Nov 2013

Platforma Artes Guimarães – Golden Weightlessness

Text by Carlos M Teixeira

The European Copper in Architecture Awards, given to the best built works in copper, this year went to the Platform of Arts and Creativity in Guimarães, Portugal. Designed by Pitágoras Aquitectos, it is a building of elegant, cantilevered golden boxes right in this town’s center which mixes creative labs, workshops, and the recovering of the existing building on the eastern side of the plot — each of them functioning independently and simultaneously, creating different accesses to each of the various services and support areas.

European Copper Architecture Awards 2013 – winner
International Center for the Arts Jose de Guimarães
photograph : Joao Morgado

The building has many of the features present not only in this office’s portfolio, but in contemporary Portuguese architecture overall: precise expressive shapes, strong materiality, fine details, deep relationship with the urban fabric and the landscape, delicate dialogue with the past, clear play of solids and voids, shocking contrast between inside and outside spaces, and a nearly sculptural programmatic freedom overlapped with orthogonal compositions.

The solid blocks are cantilevered against a black but light volume, the different parts of the program working like perpendicular boxes put over the square and stressing the copper weightlessness. The building has the scale of the square although seems to be an exception in Guimarães; copper’s timeless bringing historical contextualization and revealing the project’s ambiguities.

Building in Guimarães Platform of Arts And Creativity Platform of Arts And Creativity Guimarães Platform of Arts And Creativity
photographs : Joao Morgado

As written by the prize jury, the design is a confident response to the challenges of working within a UNESCO and City of Culture site. Pulling together a diversity of old buildings, the regeneration gives a new civic heart to the city – looking to the future as well as the past.

The Platform of Arts and Creativity is a nice surprise in a country where architecture seems to be in a wave of coherent production; where a whole generation of architects is building in unison and with a distinctly national – yet extremely universal – approach to the small and middle scale.

Platforma Artes Guimarães

Carlos M Teixeira

This week’s guest editor, Carlos M Teixeira, is the founder of Vazio S/A, an architecture studio based in Brazil. He has shown his work at Venice Biennale, the V&A, São Paulo International Art Biennale and others. His latest book, “Entre: Architecture from the Performing Arts”, was published by Black Dog this year.

Vazio S/A

Location: Platforma Artes, Guimarães, Portugal, southwestern Europe

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