Library and Cultural Center

Vila Velha de Rodão, Portugal

The cultural complex develops in two different buildings, articulated by a piazza, where the main entries of the cultural center and the city library are located. 

The intervention adjusts to the land configuration, taking advantage of its topography. The library, constructed on the greater slope area, is laid out in terraces, following the ground. The cultural center occupies instead a flat area, but a place of transition between natural ground elevations.

A balanced slab unites the two buildings, serving as liaison and protection from Sun and rain.  The building has large glazed surfaces to the most desirable directions, such as the Tagus River on the South, and closes itself to the least interesting views, namely the impactful plant, on the East.

An image of sobriety on one hand, and modernity on the other, was sought. Noble and ancestral materials, such as schist masonry and wood, combined with zinc coatings and metal grids and merged with large glass glazings create scenic effects, consistent with the program to be implemented.

The city library, simultaneously designed, was built a couple of years later.

Project: Henrique Barros-Gomes/Plural
Date: 2006
Location: Vila Velha de Rodão, Portugal
Photos: Paulo Gomes da Silva and Henrique Barros-Gomes