Location Porto, Portugal
Completion 2016
Architecture Teresa Adão da Fonseca  e Lourenço Almeida d’Eça





Porto Cruise Terminal
João Ferrand

The South Mole at the Port of Leixões is visible from a long way off and my attention was aroused as soon as the construction of the Cruise Terminal started. The building is large but being enclosed by the breakwater seems to make its scale entirely appropriate. Because it is isolated it is not easy to grasp its size, but when a large ship is moored alongside, it is clear that it is well proportioned.

Being cylindrical gives it the appearance of a continuous volume, regardless of where you are looking from and it is not easy to identify its front.Its exterior is not formed by a single wall, but seems to be composed of an unbroken ribbon, wound on a shaft in superposed layers that are loosened and also resemble tentacles.

When seen from above, in the distance, it looks like a white dot on the landscape and as we approach it reminds us of the clouds forming the eye of a hurricane, with three long arms that extend around it. When we get closer, we see that it is carefully fitted into the mole, like a ball joint that helps the breakwater to curve – it seems that it was already there long before, and that it was the breakwater that embraced it, grabbing it like a rock.

The building looks very simple in form but it is, in fact, extremely complex and ambitious in terms of function. At first glance one doesn’t realise that it has an open air auditorium on the roof, and has submerged parts that house a vivarium.

After observing it in some detail, it is clear that nothing has been left to chance, and all the pieces fit together as if there were a formula to describe each piece that makes it up.

Outside, it has a rather closed appearance, with exterior cladding tiles resembling a thick skin, like scales, as if they were an organic protection against the action of the wind, the sea and the sun, but inside there is abundant light.

Light floods the interior of the building through huge windows, woven into the gaps that the “unbroken ribbon” from the outside does not cover. Close to, the windows seem solid and thick but within the context of the structure they become light and almost imperceptible.

The pathways inside are simple and seem to be an extension of what we see from the outside. The central spiral ramp strengthens the eye of the hurricane idea, but the space is welcoming and uncluttered.

One curious aspect that is not clear at first sight is that there are narrow slits in the floors of some corridors on the upper floors. It’s strange, because when you look down, you see water through an open hole in the floor. It’s like a kind of gill that is essential for the building to breathe.

Seen from afar, it’s hard to imagine how the Cruise Terminal works, but when we walk around it, its meaning and balance within the Port of Leixões are clearly revealed.






Location Matosinhos, Portugal
Client APDL Administração dos Portos do Douro, Leixões e Viana do Castelo S.A. / Universidade do Porto
Project 2005-2010
Completion 2015
Architecture Luís Pedro Silva, Arquitecto Lda
Authors Luís Pedro Silva
Structures Newton Consultores de Engenharia Lda
Installations RGA / GM Engenharia
Consultants Iperplano Lda
Business Model Quaternaire Portugal
Mobility gng.apb, arquitectura e planeamento Lda
Durability and hygrothermal Vasco Peixoto de Freitas
Landscape José Magalhães
Maritime work Pedro Romano
Contrator Consórcio Opway S.A. + Ferreira S.A.
Construction supervision Proman S.A.


Lycée Français International de Porto
Pedro Castro Cruz

In the grounds of the Serralves estate there is a sense of descent. Both the House and the Museum (1)1. Casa de Serralves, a modern work by Marques da Silva and Serralves Museum, a contemporary work by Siza Vieira. are located at the upper level of Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa and the gardens, the lake, the woods and the agricultural areas spread out across the land that heads downwards to the east.

The Lycée Français, which occupies the land adjacent to Serralves, provides a similar experience, starting and ending with two buildings by Nuno Valentim and Frederico Eça – from the Reception Pavilion at the entrance’s high level, to the New Primary School, which sinks down at the extreme eastern end of the property.

Jofebar was involved in both. In the small 2010 pavilion, there are some thirty square metres of window frames, but the latest intervention, in 2012, to which this file relates, now includes 530m2 of glazed surfaces.

Between the two works there are earlier architectural structures which make them interventions in the built heritage: the 1963 building, that lies between the main body near the street and the classroom blocks that follow the slope of the land, all connected by an external gallery, and the expansion of 1995, which established a discreet new entrance from the street but created a new volume that has considerable impact on the playground. (2)2. The first building, from 1963, is by Manuel Marques de Aguiar,  Carlos Carvalho Dias and Luiz Cunha; the 1995 extension is by Jean Pierre Porcher, Margarida Oliveira and Albino Freitas (ToposAtelier)

The two works of Nuno Valentim and Frederico Eça show perfectly the spatial wealth and the control of scale, both in the small and the large interventions.

In the small triangular pavilion, each facing concrete elevation displays an asymmetrical square window, generating a centripetal movement when the volume is penetrated by one of them, discovering a gap that bridges the slope on which the building is balanced.

In the large school, the complexity is no less interesting; but let us see. The ease with which the original building clings to the sloping land comes not only from the geometry of the siting and the use of materials, but also from the sloping roof that reinforces the direction of the topography. The sloping roof, close to the heart of the regionalists of the 1960s in their reinterpretation of modernity, is the formal element that stands out in Nuno Valentim and Frederico Eça’s new building. The presence of the construction is almost reduced to the slope that rises from the ground and is finally discovered as a (partly) useable roof because it is converted into an athletics track. On arrival, this impression of a raised floor is underlined by the glazed facade which emphasises the slash and restores, as a reflection, the modern construction and the nature that lies beyond the Serralves walls.

The intervention is bigger than it looks, having managed to double (3)3. The built area of the New Primary School is approximately 4000m2. the built area to date, through the strategy of sinking the mass. The entrance is via a grand ramped staircase that dives into the ground and leads to the discovery of links to the lower level, namely the sunken courtyard within high concrete walls which extends a multipurpose room, defined by two glass walls with large sliding panels, reconciling the interior and the exterior by means of “space density”.

The anchoring stress to the ground is graciously lost to the east when the roof is seen no longer as a plane but as a high suspended slab front, snaking its way in a retracting and expanding play from the existing stone wall, which separates it from the Serralves woods, and setting back another glass façade. This façade is continuous from the refectory to the classrooms and is filled with mystery between the set back shade and the reflections of an almost ‘Romantic route’.

From the construction point of view, the work is compatible with the formal simplicity, with reinforced concrete walls for earth retention and for great spans which provide the stability required for the large sliding windows. The sliding window frames are in aluminium with slender profiles and the fixed and opening frames are in steel. The techniques are simple and therefore the constructive sophistication comes from rigorous detail rather than technological solutions.

The recreational areas are populated by precast concrete circles, rings that are presented as benches and tree pits, blocks that become meeting points or evoke giant games of pataca. (4)4. Pataca or Malha – traditional Portuguese targeting game This imagery conjures up the playgrounds of van Eyck (5)5. Playgrounds designed by Aldo van Eyck (The Netherlands, 1918-99) in Amsterdam between 1947 and 1978. as one realises that, more than these recreational elements, it is the spatial experience throughout the building that is designed for the Child. The school has a ludic character that one believes to be fundamental to the idea of teaching, leading the children into games of discovery, opposing movements, such us up and down, views from above and below, huddling together and scattering, ins and outs, windows and mirrors.







Location Porto, Portugal
Client Lycée Français International de Porto
Project 2007-2011
Completion 2014
Architecture Nuno Valentim, Arquitectura e Reabilitação, Lda.
Authors Nuno Valentim, Frederico Eça
Collaborators Margarida Ramos, Pedro Lima Costa, Margarida Carvalho, Isabel Norton, Luís Mendonça; 100 ferrugem Lda. Carlos Maia, Marta Labastida; Ceu Arquitectos Lda.
Engineering Vasco Peixoto de Freitas, Fernanda Valente, GPIC – Projectos,
Consultadoria e Instalações Lda, Pedro Moás, Adão da Fonseca – Engenheiros Consultores Lda,
Raul Bessa, GET – Gestão de Energia Térmica Lda, Raul Serafim & Associados Lda