Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Center by Menos e Mais and João Mendes Ribeiro

Today we discover the winner of the BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award Restoration Category Prize: the leading art museum and exhibition center in the Azores housed in a late-19th century former alcohol factory, located in the town of Ribeira Grande.

 

Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre / João Mendes Ribeiro + Menos é Mais Arquitectos © José Campos

Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre / João Mendes Ribeiro + Menos é Mais Arquitectos © José Campos

 

In words of Paulo David (Portuguese member of the panel of judges): “How can one re-inscribe the value of a factory and prolong its physical morphology? By finding a space between the new volumes to which character is given and a new design is defined for this place. By adjusting the scaling and gently touching the preexistence, and not surpassing its limits. By expressing the will to lay bare the weight of the volcanic materialization of this place, with new bodies built with apparent, smooth and dark concrete. By prolonging the mineral positioning and showing a differential tactile datum. By investing and allowing the materiality to respond in a contrary way to its exterior, smooth and docile, seeking to accommodate a program for the unpredictability of the arts. The BigMat International Architecture Award, through these three winning projects, shows by way of example the different fields of work of Portuguese architects with a persistent and rigorous posture of “building on the built-up”. (more…)