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Location: S.Vicente, Madeira, Portugal
Architect: Duarte Caldeira – www.duartecaldeira.com
Project Team: Duarte Caldeira, Filipe Clairouin, Roberto Castro
Structural Engineers: Casca Lda
Lighting: Fernando Sousa Pereira
Project Year: 2008
Start and Completion Dates – November 2009 / May 2011
Contractor: Tecnovia S.A.
Project Area: building 420m2, site 3360m2
Photographs: Joao Morgado
Situated on the northwest coast of the island of Madeira, Portugal, in an extensive river valley, it is near the centre of a small coastal rural village, nestled between the region’s natural landscape, which extends towards the area where the building is located.
Standing on top of an underground car park, the new translucent building allows an influx of natural light and the view of the impressive surrounding high and rugged green mountains.
It is a wooden and glass structure arranged on top of various rectangular shaped concrete boxes, previously used as kiosks in the urban park. Instead of demolishing the existing small buildings to make room for the new one, it was decided to use some of them as part of the new building, and also keep the original staircase and lift which gives access to the car park located below.
The design program of this public services’ building is a simple one. It houses an open space office and workspace for the registrar office personnel, an archive area and a main private office, a meetings room and a reception counter for the general public.
The volume of the new construction is larger and taller than the others and is intersected by some of the existing volumes which are now covered in grey volcanic basalt stone, the local most common stone. It was built as a structure of metal beams with flat cover, clad with natural heat treated wood. In the interior, the black granite flooring, window frames and counter, make a contrast with the wooden ceiling and the outdoor metal pillars which sustain the construction.