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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Half Dose #47: Chamber Orchestra of Cascais

ARX Portugal (Nuno Mateus/José Mateus) has informed me about the opening of their design for the Cascais Music Conservatory in Cascais, Portugal. I must admit that at first glance I wondered if there was more to the renovation than some gray stucco and new windows.

HD47a.jpg
[photograph by FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura | image source]

But it is at the rear of the existing Boaventura boarding house where the extension and the architecture happens, on an adjacent lot purchased for what is also the headquarters of the Cascais and Oeiras Orchestra.

HD47b.jpg
[photograph by FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura | image source]

The one-story extension engages the existing building and follows the curve of the road towards a stepped garden and pool at the far end of the site.

HD47c.gif
[site and floor plans | image source]

This is an architectural intervention of the minimalist sort, with the occasional flourish, be it the patterned perimeter wall...

HD47d.jpg
[photographs by FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura | image source]

...or the ceiling and operable cabinets of the main space overlooking the garden.

HD47e.jpg
[photograph by FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura | image source]

The architects express not so much a fondness for the existing context of Cascais, but a disdain for what is replacing it, the "big apartment or office buildings which fill the totality of their lots, not leaving any room for garden areas and blocking visual interaction." They're not alone.

Links:
:: Câmara Municipal de Cascais (client)
:: ARX Portugal Arquitectos
:: FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura
:: Architecture.MNP

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