MPA Building. Porto
Designed to receive a Higher School (IPAM), the project was conditioned by the rules imposed by the urban allotment where takes place. The building is implanted perpendicularly to Manuel Pinto de Azevedo (MPA) Street, in the old industrial zone of Porto.
Making part of a regeneration process, the building is located in the old industrial zone of Porto, which the land-use planning classifies as a zone of “progressive settlement of enterprises representative of different business areas and those that develop investigation and innovation in order to promote the city competitiveness and its role in the region, as well as complementary uses such as dwelling, services, commerce, equipments and hotels, tourist enterprises and restaurants”.
The most visible facade is the southwest, which defines a new square opened to Manuel Pinto de Azevedo Street. Looking for dialogue with this future public space, designing a front marked by the relation of the entrances and shops with this “square”. This idea is reinforced by the fact the building closes itself in the small front of the street.
Formally restrained, the built volume wants to show two moments: the contact with the ground, very clear (transparent), in glass, where all opaque plans are covered with steel plates; the pattern of the façade, a game of hide and seeks between full and empty in a tense relationship between opaque and transparent, emphasized by the depth of the glass plane.
The building, of mixed use, shelters the school and offices. In order to allow autonomy of uses, two columns of vertical communications serve each of the programs independently. On the ground floor, a “front” of commerce turns to a broad square in the northwest. In this front, two shops with public access by the exterior of the building - a cafeteria and a stationery centre - work associated with the school program.
The reference to the industrial past of the place has always been present in our options concerning the design and the materialization of the building.