Year – 2017 | ...
Client – SORGAL S.A.
Location – S. João Ovar, Portugal
GPS – 40º53'20.292"N 8º36'57.719"W
Site Area | Area – 12.084sq.m | 2.500sq.m
Budget – undisclosed
Status – under progress
Partners – Albuquerque Goinhas, Cristina de Mendonça, Nuno Griff
Project Team – Oscar Barnay, Elyssa Le Gac, Pavol Dobsinsky, João Catarrunas
Engineering – PFV (Pedro Viegas)
Landscape Architecture – Catarina Raposo, Joana Marques, Pedro Gusmão, Samuel Alcobia (BALDIOS)
3D Visualization – Nuno Silva (NU.MA)
Located in Ovar, a prominent industrial belt in northern Portugal, the project for the SORGAL Group headquarters is the most important part of a global study being undertaken to upgrade several of the group's facilities. As the site of the group's headquarters, the architecture is more than just a physical operation; rather, it seeks to address the new positioning of the group by expressing its identity and image to customers, employees and public bodies alike.
A piece of infrastructure dating from the 1940s, the existing complex has undergone countless transformations and upgrades over the decades, but has never followed any logic other than that of pure industrial functionality. A living organism continuously suffering the pain of growth but never holistically articulated, it has thus been able to respond productively, as a reflection of its era, but the human factor has never been taken into account.
The project is thus first and foremost a humanist reflection on the work environment, on the role of physical environment in the well-being of users, and on the qualitative efficiency of spaces.
Following methodologies of community and organisational psychology, a survey on the perception of the building by all workers was carried out to serve as a basis for a more in-depth study of the site’s occupation. The new intervention was then structured around this qualitative assessment and on the quantitative and material evaluation of the existing building.
The buildings were outdated in many ways, and were unable to provide the workflow and space required for a contemporary office and factory support services. Our proposal thus included the phased demolition of the entire complex, retaining and rehabilitating only a few outer pieces of the overall volumetry, totally removing its labyrinthine interior and creating a large new unifying volume that floats above the factory.
This light piece, in which all human activity on the site is concentrated, establishes the boundary between the industrial and the inhabited, steering and organising future expansions. On the upper floor, the office functions are concentrated in a new pattern of flows, while the various functions that need direct access to and from the factory are established on the lower floor. To serve both levels and qualify the ambience of the space, a large cabinetry apparatus has been designed to absorb all technical and service components of the spaces.
Once the physical work is finished, the intention is to carry out a post-occupancy study to evaluate occupants' perceptions and compare these with previous data and the pre-established goals of the proposal.