Arquipélago

Maintaining the industrial character of the whole and establishing a dialogue between the existing former factory of alcohol and tobacco and the new construction, Menos é Mais and João Mendes Ribeiro created in the Azores a space of exchange and interface for people, knowledge and events.

Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados and João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre, Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal
The Arquipélago Contemporary Arts Centre seeks to unite the different scales and times of its parts.
It is a transdisciplinary project whose mission is to disseminate, create and produce emerging culture: a space of exchange and interface for people, knowledge and events.
The design of Arquipélago maintains the industrial character of the whole and highlights the dialogue between an existing building (former factory of alcohol and tobacco) and the new construction (arts and culture center, storage facilities, multipurpose hall and performing arts, laboratories, artist studios).
Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados and João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre, Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal
Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados and João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre, Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal
The Centre acquires its identity by the quiet variation between the preexistence and the two new buildings. These new buildings absorb the required functionalities, with special conditions, not compatible with the spatiality of preexisting buildings.
The project of the Arquipélago does not exaggerate the differences between the old and the new buildings. On the contrary, it seeks to unite the different scales and times of its parts throughout a pictorial manipulation of the form and materiality of the buildings: the existing constructions are marked by the volcanic stone masonry and the new buildings are characterized by an abstract form, without reference or allusion to any language, built in concrete with local basalt inert continuously working with the variation of surfaces’ textures and rugosity, complementing the mass of the buildings with the emptiness of the patios.
Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados and João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre, Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal
Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados and João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre, Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal
The new buildings are placed next to the existing ones in a serene manner underlining the architectonical memory of a given period and the new addition, without damaging or subverting the spatial and constructive structures of the whole.

The new program reinvents the existent building, making it a meaningful space in a peripheral region in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Arquipélago adds meaning to the social and cultural context where it is built. A new public space is materialized in a central square/pateo where art feels comfortable and blurs the frontiers between private and public spheres.

The sustainable measures adopted are passive systems that seek to provide comfort for the users: the density of the concrete walls offer inertia and energy efficiency; the rain water is reused.


Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre, Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal
Program: arts centre
Architects: Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados, Lda , João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto Lda
Authors:
Francisco Vieira de Campos, Cristina Guedes, João Mendes Ribeiro
Project Managers:
Adalgisa Lopes, Jorge Teixeira Dias, Inês Mesquita, Filipe Catarino
Project Team:
Cristina Maximino, João Pontes, Luís Campos, Ana Leite Fernandes, Mariana Sendas, Pedro Costa, Inês Ferreira, João Fernandes, Catarina Fortuna, Ana Cerqueira, Ana Rita Martins, António Ferreira da Silva, Cláudia Santos, Joana Figueiredo, João Branco
Structural and hydraulic engineering and gas installations: SOPSEC, SA
Electrical Installations, Security Measures and Fire Consulting:
Raul Serafim & Associados, Lda
Mechanical Installations:
GET, Lda.
Programming consulting: Elisa Babo (Quaternaire), Miguel Von Haff Pérez, Marta Almeida
Conservation and Restoration Consulting:
Gabriella Casella (Cariátides)
Stage Mechanics Consulting: João Aidos
Landscaping:
Ana Barroco, Rui Figueiredo (Quaternaire)
Constructor: Consórcio Somague, Marques S.A. e Tecnovia
Supervising:
Eng. Tavares Vieira, Lda
Client: Regional Directorate of Culture (DRaC) of the Regional Government of the Azores
Area: 12.914 sqm (9.736 sqm  buildings + 3.178 sqm exterior arrangement)
Completion: 2014

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