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The association decided to establish their main offices in the city of “Caldas da Rainha” in a new urban area in the outskirts of the town.

The global design process was focused in creating a building that could express a clear individuality so that could be seen as an urban core. One of our design concerns was the need for a strong connection with the identity of the city’s architecture, achieved through a dynamic/mimetic approach related to the main material of the art-deco buildings of Caldas da Rainha, the tile. Through the morphing of the 2D surface of the tile into a 3D shape, this small traditional building element could gain a new identity, making possible its use in contemporary structures as the one we proposed for the COMURB building.

Transparency as a metaphor of openness. Since this is a public building it is supposed to be opened to the people. This openness is achieved as a symbolic form through the use of a glass curtain in all the faces that formed the façades of the building. This Glass curtain is punctuated with the dynamic pillars that support the glass panels and that are covered with the 3D tiles. The interior openness is achieved with a strong connection of the office spaces and the three courtyards that intersect the body of the building. These courtyards define places of gathering besides their main function, to bring light to the interior of the building so that the work places could receive light from two directions (interior and exterior) minimizing the sun positioning effect.

Architecture: Jorge Sousa Santos, Eliana Sousa Santos, Bruno Ferraz.
Client: Concurso público para a elaboração do projecto de execução do edifício sede da comunidade urbana do Oeste.
Date: October 2004.
Localização: Caldas da Rainha sede da comunidade urbana do oeste short list (semi-finalista) prémio Possible Futures Bienal de Arquitectura de Miami 2005.

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