Fábrica VILAR

Porto, Portugal

Fábrica VILAR

Year – 2019 | ...
Client – RIBEMON Partners
Location – Rua do Bonjardim 826, Porto
GPS – 41°12'23.2"N 8°16'57.3"W
Site Area | Area – 1.249sq.m | 5.168sq.m
Budget – undisclosed
Status – licensing CMP
Partners – Albuquerque Goinhas, Cristina de Mendonça, Nuno Griff
Project Team – Anthony Spennato, João Antunes, Marcelo Rafael, Maria João Ferradosa, Mário Pinto, Marion Gouges

Landscape Architecture – BALDIOS (Catarina Raposo, Joana Marques, Pedro Gusmão, Samuel Alcobia)
Engineering – Mário Boucinha (BLUORIZON), Pedro Fragoso Viegas (PFV)
Photography – Inês D'Orey (building), EMBAIXADA (models)

Vilar is a research project focused on the balance of power between parts. Assuming that rehabilitation is only possible when new elements rely on old elements (rather than becoming autonomous), the project transports this conceptual search into the physics of the objects themselves, introducing a hierarchy of dependencies.

Each of the new pieces thus directly or indirectly depends on existing infrastructure in a complex matrix of interpellations, a tree-line which leads always to the existing objects. Guided by tensegrity, the project involves the reconversion of an interesting modernist factory from the early 20th century – the old Vilar bike factory designed by João Pimentel Júnior and Alberto Bessa – upgrading it to new living programmes.

The complex as it stands has undergone innumerable transformations, of which the interesting and imposing main body in three volumes has been retained. The two subsequent volumes, in contrast, do not articulate a harmonious street front nor contribute to the organisation of the whole, and thus their demolition and replacement by a new volume is proposed.

The exterior operation focuses on the upgrading and conversion of the green footprint, restructuring existing courtyards and creating new ones, and undertaking a total transformation of the roofs into landscaped roofs, making these an essential element of the building’s energy performance.

Resulting in a poetic dichotomy between the weight of the modernist concrete and a certain lightness of the new configuration made up of dry systems, less permanent and ready to be transformed, the lived experience proposed is markedly fluid and natural. As in a good science fiction trope, technology acts directly on the most basic archetypes, on what we already know, providing us new ways of living and unveiling novel hybrid programmes.

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