The house number 4 of Rua Almeida Garrett in Coimbra, is located in a central area of the city: near the Praça da República, next to the park of Quinta de Santa Cruz, now known as Jardim das Sereias, and over which the main façade leans with the uniqueness that characterizes it.
The Manuel da Nóbrega University Centre is dedicated to the daily occupation of students and has a remarkable number of users. It has study rooms and a library for students, a chapel with daily mass (with a high average attendance), offices for spiritual assistance, rooms for group meetings, rooms for pilgrims, a kitchen, a multi-purpose room in the extension body and a garden outside.
The proposal sought above all to improve the conditions of habitability and comfort, preserving the numerous architectural values identified: from the construction system to the spatial quality, from the integration of decorative elements to the urban insertion itself. We have tried to preserve as much as possible the pre-existing typological and constructive identity, intervening with a critical spirit and trying, without mimicking, to propose a dialogue with the existing elements.
The re-dimensioning of the spans on the back and the new extension allowed a new relationship between the dwelling and the garden, originally constrained by the differences in elevation of the land. Communication between the existing interior spaces was improved and the building’s comfort levels were updated with the integration of new infrastructure networks, essential for the conditions of functionality.