New social infrastructure and cultural development in Porto
Campanhã, Porto, Portugal
Junho 2018 – (…)
approx. 20 500 m2
Kengo Kuma & Associates (Co-authorship; Lead Architect)
Ejiri Structural Engineers (Engineering design)
ESC (social strategists)
International Competition; 1st Prize
Winning proposal for the Renovation & Expansion of Porto City Old Matadouro
In its heyday, the Matadouro was one of the main slaughterhouses in the city of Porto, a strong economic anchor that drove the development of the Campanhã district. Our proposal reinstates its role as a focal point and driving force, adding to the city’s cultural, business and social attractiveness. Our aim was to uphold the site’s own history, based on local memory, and make a sensory translation into a public space that belongs to everyone but that each can experience as their own, initiating the next stage of its life story and returning it to the city.
Since it is visible from afar, it was essential to create a structure that could be experienced from a distance. The roof stretches across the entire site, encompassing the whole program underneath it, merging old and new, and leaving a contemporary and signature mark in the district while still preserving its historical heritage. It both covers and integrates the existing building structures according to their different specifications, and in doing so, it establishes scale relationships with the large adjacent infrastructures while subtly blending in with the district’s existing built environment.
As Porto is renowned for both its warm summers and rainy weather, the new roof appears as a second skin that allows the site to be used all year round. The ceramic tiles tie the new architecture with the overall characteristic look of the area and glass panels let in the light, offering protection from environmental factors, like the rain and the sun, and providing a glowing light during the night hours for a safe cross passage underneath, while allowing for natural ventilation. The innovative design thus incorporates the local building materials and structures, and the lightness of the levitating weaved membrane evokes the plasticity of the textiles whose industry the region is known for.