candoso s.martinho school centre

archdaily, guimarães, portugal, school

The land to be used for the Candoso S. Martinho School Centre, around 8000 m2 in size, is part of the town planning study produced by the passage of the A7 motorway and subsequent reorganisation of the plan for municipal roads in that area.

The land shows visible signs of land works that were carried out there, camouflaging its original topography. As marking components, an age-old cork tree stands out in the high area of the land and a slope filled by medium-sized cork trees and oak trees, which makes the transition between the two platforms which constitute the land.

The building is established on the higher land platform delineating a central patio which develops length-wise in the East-West direction, and which involves the striking elements of the land – slope and cork tree area.

The primary school classrooms as well as the pre-school rooms are turned to face South, with the covered playgrounds facing North, protected from strong winds and in completely independent spaces.

With the saving of means one of the objectives to consider, without losing sight of architectonic and constructive quality criteria and durability and conservation criteria, a building with a simple geometry was chosen, in which the proposed programme fits in a linear form and the spaces are sequential and structured in a clear way.

In terms of size the intention is that the building is essentially defined by two horizontal levels which contain it, floor slabs and covering slabs. The vertical surfaces, opaque and transparent, are given the habitual role of defining the interior/exterior relationship and the hierarchy of different spaces.

Guimarães, Portugal

design year


Marlene Sousa
Hélio Pinto
Francisco Oliveira
Mariana Paiva

Luís Ferreira Alves

foundations and structures

hydraulic engineering

mechanical engineering

electrical engineering and security