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Oporto, Portugal | 2011
Architects: Pedra Silva Architects, Porto, Portugal
Client: Associação Fraunhofer Portugal
Photographer: João Morgado
Associação Fraunhofer Portugal is a non-profit private research association and is part of the German Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the largest organization for applied research in Europe. Although not familiar to the general public, Fraunhofer is responsible for many important innovations, including, for example, the MP3 file format, and many advances in workplace organization research.
The architects were selected, through an open competition, to design the new Porto headquarters, located at the Technology University Campus: “Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade do Porto (UPTEC)”. Our design took into account Fraunhofer’s innovative philosophy trough a message that is simple, but at the same time positive and dynamic. Workplace layout and organizational elements from Fraunofer Office Innovation Center in Stuttgart (Germany) were also an important input to the project, adding another layer to our concept.
The new research facilities occupy two floors in a new UPTEC building in a total of 1660 sqm. Circulation is the project’s backbone; all spaces appear along a distribution route located next to the glass façade. This main axis allows access to all different spaces. These spaces, with different functions and sizes, are generated and consolidated trough a bold gesture: a waving plane that goes through the open floors, creating different spaces and ambients.