negotiating both an urban context and seaside environment, the ARX portugal-designed costa nova social and cultural center provides for a multi-functional space that serves the beach-side community south of porto, portugal. the project, commissioned by the state, transitions visitors from an urban context into the beach which is currently visually disconnected from the former. adopting the traditional timber palheiro construction, the entire structure is built of wood and jointed using local methods, offering a new health care center, social center, and a show room for exhibitions and other public events in the community.

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
the entrance features a projecting shard of wood next to a sloping pathway to the roof
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura (also first image)

 

 

the design is conceived not as a standalone building but rather as a transitional threshold between concrete and sand, bringing locals from the city to the beach while providing needed communal spaces. the envelope begins street-side as a one-story construction of charred wood cladding over a white-painted frame structure. gradual sloped pathways cut through the building like shards of glass up to the rooftop that allow panoramic views of the ocean, leaving behind sharp-angled structures projecting above the ground at the entrance. 

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
at beach side, two-story volumes expressed by exposed structure and glass fronts reflect the ocean-side landscape
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

 

 

an all-white interior defining both timber structure and concrete floor keeps with local design helping to reflect natural light from the glass-ended walls into the deep linear spaces.  deep laminated transverse beams leaves large ground space allowing the flexibility for  hosting any event.  at each moment in the structure, the construction and cladding are left exposed and honest, each element standing individually yet acting in unison with the entire composition. the gentle slopes and angles suggest movement and transition, a contemporary interpretation manifested through traditional means. 

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
rooftop decks and patios provide for beach-front views
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
an all-white interior reflects natural light deep into the space
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
the construction features traditional local techniques
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
the building maintains a low profile on the landscape respecting the established building height in the area
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
the structure transitions from an urban context to a beach-side landscape
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

ARXportugal_costanovasocialcenter
image © FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura

 

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

owner: câmara municipal de ílhavo
location: avenida da nossa senhora da saúde, costa nova, aveiro, portugal
architecture: arx portugal: nuno mateus e josé mateus c/ joão dantas, ricardo guerreiro, sofia raposo, emanuel rebelo, fábio cortês, filipe cardoso, bruno martins, fábio rosado, sara nieto, héctor bajo, baptiste fleury, ana fontes, luís marques, joana pedro
technical team: safre; pen; antónio paiva fernandes
area:1420 m2

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    architecture news