Welcoming Pavilion, Lycée Français International de Porto

Rua de Gil Eanes 27-103, Porto


Nuno Velentim, Frederico Eça


Margarida Ramos, Margarida Carvalho, Isabel Norton

Finalist in the V Prémio de Arquitectura ENOR, 2011

41.15734, -8.65979

The Lycée Français International de Porto is a remarkable building from the 60’s by the architects Manuel Marques Aguiar, Luiz Cunha and José Carvalho Dias.

In Porto, it will be one of the most interesting school buildings of the 2nd half of the 20th century, set in unique landscaped surroundings – the Serralves Museum Park and Gardens.

This new independent facility is designed for the reception and activities with younger children (pre-primary and primary).

In an environment that is as affirmative as it is delicate, we have tried to ensure that the proposal is equally distant from the pre-existence – by its very implantation and its relationship with the topography – and attentive to the landscape framework. Thus, the equilateral triangular shape allows for distance from the existing buildings, and simultaneously, the use of concrete allows for its integration with the surrounding buildings (predominantly in concrete and exposed granite).

The need to welcome the children prevailed over the temptation to open up excessively to the outside. The three façades are geometrically identical, with a single opening at one end.

Breaking up the continuity of the grey concrete surface, these punctual openings let the orange colour of the pavilion’s interior cladding shine through – surfaces for the students to take over with their work and activities. The movable panels (mirrored and white) allow the space to be transformed into an exercise room or projection room.