Architects Guild
Algarve Headquarters

culture , 1st Prize
Faro, Portugal

Architects Guild
Algarve Headquarters

Year – 2003 / 2012
Public competition – 1st Prize
Client – Portuguese Architects Guild

Location – Rua Nova, 7, Faro, Portugal
GPS - 37°00'57.9"N 7°55'46.2"W
Site Area / Area – 146 sq.m / 216 sq.m
Budget – 244.086,48 €
Status – unbuilt

Partners – Albuquerque Goinhas, Augusto Marcelino, Cristina de Mendonça, Luís Baptista, Nuno Griff, Pedro Patrício, Sofia Antunes

Photography – embaixada

The existing building where the intervention was to be undertaken is located in a major residential area in the historical centre of the city of Faro, in the region of the Algarve. The project required the negotiation and conciliation of a new public facility capable of being a deontological and professional icon within a plot of domestic characteristics.

As planning legislation permits demolitions but requires the maintenance of the existing front façade, it was deemed important that the windows acquire a key role in the design process as a spatial element, rather than as mere scenery detached from the new context.

Taking this into consideration, the programme was organised in a sequence of spaces divided by small inner courtyards, providing visual contact across the entire building, from the street to the back courtyard and between floors. The inner courtyards also provide natural light and ventilation into each independent space.

The use of glass as a receptor of different atmospheric conditions also enabled subtle changes in light conditions and different levels of visibility. This change in the perception of each space became fundamental to understanding the building as a whole, allowing a visual broadening of each compartment into the others and making interaction possible between the image and work activity.

Unfortunately, and very ironically since the client was the Architects' Guild, the project was neglected and construction eventually abandoned.

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