depA, a portuguese architecture practice based in porto, has completed a mirrored pavilion in the grounds of a cultural institution designed by álvaro siza vieira. serralves, which is the most visited museum in portugal, also includes an art deco villa and an 18-hectare park. it is here, on the surface of the park’s lake, where depA has constructed a reflective pavilion used for screening short films. photographed by josé campos, the design seeks to establish an indirect relationship with siza’s museum building, which opened in 1999.

all images by josé campos



depA’s design for the pavilion is a polygon extracted from the museum’s layout, a shape repeated throughout serralves park’s pavements and landscape features. in turn, the concave polygonal configuration provides the ideal setting for a projection space, where ‘o peixe’ a short film by brazilian artist jonathas de andrade is on view. titled ‘liquid pavilion’, the structure is clad with mirrored façades that enhance its context of dense foliage and the water’s reflective surface.

the mirrored pavilion is in the grounds of the most visited museum in portugal



‘the extracted polygon, once implanted in the park and with its original context altered, including the transformation of its shape and materiality, becomes something new and detaches itself from its original source,’ say the architects. internally, the pavilion is filled with color and light, camouflaging itself within its environment. conceived as a bridge between its setting and the art in contains, the pavilion’s interior remains neutral, allowing visitors to discover the video projected inside.

the structure sits on the surface of the park’s lake

the reflective pavilion is used for screening short films

the design seeks to establish a relationship with siza’s nearby museum building

‘o peixe’ a short film by brazilian artist jonathas de andrade, is on view

the structure is clad with mirrored façades that enhance its context of dense foliage

the project has been conceived as a bridge between its setting and the art in contains

the structure sits at the center of the 18-hectare park

the scheme is almost hidden from view

site plan | click for larger version
image courtesy of depA architects

floor plan | click for larger version
image courtesy of depA architects



project info:


architecture: depA architects
design team: carlos azevedo, joão crisóstomo, luís sobral, miguel santos, sara pontes, margarida leitão, ângela meireles, hugo sobrosa
engineering: edgar brito, luís oliveira
construction: otiima art works
photography: josé campos
hosted artwork: o peixe, jonathas de andrade
commission: fundação de serralves

  • Sorry to say that but this home is deadly for birds that will hit the walls thinking they’re flying into another bush.

    lesky says:

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

comments policy
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.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news