An existing primary school campus required the edition of a sports pavilion and a swimming pool facility (that will be built at a later stage). Although independent of each other there was the need of involving the two buildings in a common occupation of territory, minimizing negative urban and landscape impact. The predetermined location of the new gymnasium on the site imposed us an immediate challenge. The large volume that would be required for a gymnasium could terminate any direct access from the school to the surrounding landscape. Our response was to create a design that could successfully integrate the natural slope of the ground. Moreover, the arrangement of buildings helped to consolidate the campus, giving answer to the need for clarification of the public and private spaces.
Public parking is appropriately placed next to the main street with direct access to the pavilion. The basic concept was to simplify the accessibility in a clearly way so that the institution’s privacy is not disturbed. The distribution route of the pavilion runs through a main axis – the hallway – giving access to all services related to the sports activities (showers, toilets, health room, storage and technical areas). Wood and concrete are the most prominent elements of the building. The choice of wood on the outside surface, beyond its technical, sustainable and visual gains, was conceived to make a visual reminder of the lands previous use, a farm. The green roof also sought the effect of continuity, balancing the existing vegetation in the complex. The green roof together with the built volume forms an almost urban valley that minimizes the volumetric impact and keeps the sport box’s presence rather discrete .
Project by Filipe Brandão and Nuno Sanches Date 2007 – 2010 Client Congregação Religiosa das Servas Franciscanas de Nossa Senhora das Graças Location Real, Braga, Portugal