cannatà & fernandes architects: landscape laboratory
cannatà & fernandes architects: landscape laboratory cannatà & fernandes architects: landscape laboratory
oct 15, 2012

cannatà & fernandes architects: landscape laboratory

‘landscape laboratory’ by cannatà & fernandes architects, guimarães, portugal images © luis ferreira alves

portuguese firm cannatà & fernandes architects have completed ‘landscape laboratory’, a rehabilitated building located in veiga de creixomil, southwest from the historic city center of guimarães, portugal. positioned within a sensitive area of high landscape value, the site is classified in accordance with the area’s municipal master plan as national ecological reserve (ren). the morphology of the terrain is characterized by a relative difference of height, by the presence of a water channel, dirt trails, great visibility from surrounding areas and close proximity of large green masses. visibility from the motorway implied a series of interventions, also guaranteeing  an element which distinguishes itself from the encompassing territory. the eastern access to the laboratory was created by the demolition of small roofs initially forming the separation of the building by the creation of a reception square and porte-cochere, leading the visitor through a promenade to the main entrance in contact with the most impressive moment of the building: the facade oriented towards the water front ribeira de selho.

inside, the main objective was to enhance the spatial character of the factory typology. an open space, bright and ready to embrace the new uses and demands of it’s functional program, through simple but rigorous adjustments. the division of the different functional modules follows the structure of the roofs in order to establish a balance between the different spaces with the structure and character of the pre-existing. towards the east side i the necessary technical area for the boiler, utan and water deposits. towards the west, the original volumes in the upper floor that were in a state of ruin were rearranged and reconstructed. the proposal aimed to recover the architectural character of the existing building and at the same time, with the new roof and the volumetric reconstructions, affirm the contemporaneity of a rehabilitation. the ensemble highlights and accurately identifies the various intervention stages without producing ambiguities or distortions of the history of the building. elements in masonry stone were recovered, cleaned and replaced, the volumes constructed with brick, or other materials in an advanced state of decay and new volumes were replaced with white concrete. the diverse material palette allows a reading of changes in time and use.

conceptual sketch

facade overlooking the riberia de selho

eastern entry image © luis ferreira alves

retained original masonry contrasts the white concrete repairs images © luis ferreira alves

(left) series of gabled roofs reconstructed with concrete (right) interior maintains the volumes delineated by the roofs images © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

images © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

image © luis ferreira alves

location plan

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level 1

site section




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  • this is a pretty damn interesting project – everything about it

    dbkii says:
  • Well done.

    mArkW says:
  • Agree with the above.. I would have found a way to integrate a tile for the roofs. Setting looks idyllic in the top photo – ’till you see the freeway in the location plan. Still, well done.

    jim C. says:
  • enhance the spatial character of the factory typology…
    recover the architectural character of the existing building…
    affirm the contemporaneity of a rehabilitation…
    without producing ambiguities or distortions of the history of the building…
    allows a reading of changes in time and use…

    The editors (or perhaps the architects) selected the above canned critiques to describe overblown alterations to what appears to have been a regionally contextual building, in both form and materials. We are not given the age of the stone building(s) and alterations, so it is difficult to argue just how “historic” it is. However, it is even more difficult to justify the insensitive changes to the volumes and tile roof lines (replacing overhangs with parapets), along with the unfortunate interjection of primary forms of blinding white concrete. “Recover the architectural character of the existing building…without producing ambiguities or distortions of the history of the building…” indeed. This is an insular project that speaks only to other like-minded architects, and continues an unfortunate editorial pattern. On a positive note, they did a nice job of cleaning up the waterway.

    Hearsawho says:
  • I like this project, I have been there and it’s kind of cool solution. Traditional portuguese one during the last 5 years.
    But I would prefer to see something like this

    Pedro Santos says:
  • The interiors are kind of bad. Looks like they thought this one was going to be easy. Turns out it\’s not.

    off says:
  • Pedro Santos : I believe the kind of intervention Amoeba did in Budapest is nothing more than a contemporary trend – perhaps we can call it crumbling-fashion or crumbling-design- like, for exemple, doing house looking concrete sloped roofs instead of flat. And it only works for specific programs and buildings under certain conditions.

    Mariana Lopes says:
  • Mariana is right!

    RC says:
  • it’s nice 🙂
    but what is the purpose of a landscape laboratory? D:

    eidam says:

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