Location Oporto, Portugal
Construction Area 1.660m2
Graphic Design Rita and Joana Coimbra
Photography João Morgado - Architectural Photography
Winner of the 2016 Green GOOD DESIGN Award
Winner of the Archdaily Building of the Year 2011 Awards (Interiors category)
1st Place in closed competition
The Fraunhofer Portugal association is a part of the German company Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest applied investigation institution, responsible for such innovations as the MP3 audio format and considerable advances in the research of ideal workspace organization. Our proposal for the institution’s new offices in Oporto, located in the Oporto University’s Science and Technology Complex, met Fraunhofer’s innovative philosophy through a simple, yet affirmative and dynamic, message widely informed by the research already performed by Fraunhofer itself.
The different spaces, with varied dimensions and functions, are generated through a single strong gesture that determines the whole operation and image of the project: a plane undulating through the large empty space, generating larger or smaller inhabitable workspaces. This plane materializes in the space by acting alternatingly as a ceiling, wall or pavement for the offices and meeting rooms, granting the whole a spatial dynamic, visual continuity, movement and flow. Circulation happens along the large glazed façade, and functions as the project’s structuring element.
Another characteristic of the space is the inclusion of small work and meeting rooms, so called silent rooms, which act as spaces for concentration, informal meetings or simply for resting.