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IPVC Student Residence
Architecture Competition  .  Viana do Castelo  .  2021  

It's framed in a landscape valorization and contextualization logic that the first two basic intentions of this project emerge: topographic manipulation, inspired by the coastal dunes, creating a natural protection system against the aggressiveness of the dominant winds at the ground floor level; and, creation of a fortified mass, facing inwards, ensuring the effective and natural protection of the rooms against the prevailing weather conditions.

The result is a ring of massive blocks that subtly rest on a system of dunes with autochthonous vegetation cover, inviting the discovery of the imposing interior courtyard, around which the various common spaces of the residence orbit. When viewed from the top of Monte de Santa Luzia, the complex evokes the image of a coastal fort, one of the symbols of this territorial area.

The importance of the courtyard in this complex clearly goes beyond a simple formal gesture of architectural composition. As the theme of protection is the real core of this project, due to the climatic context in which the building is inserted, but also the programmatic aspect to which it must respond, the decision to naturally protect the interior spaces without exposing them too much to the natural elements would have to be accompanied, necessarily, by the creation of a new natural source of interior salubrity.


A sixteen-meter wide by one hundred meters long space that not only guarantees the lighting and ventilation of all the interior spaces that surround it, but also enhances a new community dynamic, further promoting socialization and spirit of academic community. In this large central courtyard, the monochromatic tones of the exterior give way to an intense chromatic composition whose colors are inspired by the landscape in which this building fits.

The proposed intervention assumes a strong and striking image in the territory anchored by the programmatic response and a challenging concept, which gives it an inevitable status of landmark in the urban landscape.

Nevertheless, it is the most sensitive side of this whole approach the one that gives substance to the intervention. The dune, as a living organism, grips the ground floor where the massive block lands, inviting you to discover its generous patio, a source of salubrity as well as a place of introspection, inspiration, and surprise.

An unobvious proposal, which certainly will not leave anyone who crosses it indifferent. At the distance of those who dare to wet their feet in the Atlantic, a dense monolithic composition rests serenely under the dune topography, in a demonstration of physical and ascetic balance with the landscape.

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