Four years after the conclusion of Vodafone Lisbon headquarter, Vodafone decided to build at Porto, a new building, which allows concentrate in only one place, their workers. On 2006 July, Vodafone launched a competition, inviting fifty Portuguese architects’ teams, being the proposal submitted by Barbosa & Guimarães the winning one. The functional program includes office areas, mega shop store, auditorium, cafeteria, training rooms, warehouses, technical areas and parking. The building is located in the corner of the avenue Avenida da Boavista with the street Rua Correia de Sá, on a plot area with 1970 sq.m, at facing the previous named streets at north and a garden at south, upper bound, where exist a few tree species that were preserved.
The main volume of the building, presents fairly to Boavista Avenue, an altitude range between three and five floors above the threshold, according to high level of adjacent buildings. The distance to the existing buildings on the west side, allows the building to become autonomous, creating a pleasing view to the gardens located within the block. This monolithic irregular volume, which looks to convey movement sensation, is bounded by walls and roofs with irregular and fragmented geometry, in accordance to the alignments defined by the dominant buildings on the East and West of the building. The building is vertically organized on eight floors, five above ground and three on the basement.
The ground floor, where lies the three accesses points from Boavista Avenue, is occupied by the lobby, mega store on two floors, auditorium and cafeteria. The auditorium and cafeteria are connected to the garden through the back courtyard and stairs. In the four next upper floors, are located the open space offices, two toilets and a pantry on each one of it. Natural lighting of the offices is carried out through continuous windows throughout the length of north and south elevations. On the third floor and roof, there are two outside spaces, of free access. On the first lower floor, in addition to the extension of the store, are the training rooms, while the rest area occupied by warehouses and technical areas.
The two following lower floors are destiny to car parking. The vertical accesses, elevators and staircases, are located on the building edges. The building core concentrates and distributes large flows of movement in the building, communicating directly with each atrium floor, main entrance, training rooms and car parks. Back courtyard, garden space faced south, was thinking in order to free the back elevation on the ground floor, enabling the openings creation that allows natural light to the auditorium and cafeteria.
Structurally, the building is based on full concrete solution, with solid slabs supported on walls, cores, and some columns. The shell structure of white concrete self-compacted on the north and south elevations, which grows in the perimeter of the building in multiple panels, was performed entirely is situ, using marine plywood formwork. The exterior walls were coated, internally, with plasterboards to form air boxes thermal insulates, with the require dimensions to able the passage of the equipments. The roof cover conclusion was made using white pre-fabricated slabs, on thermal insulation and waterproofing. In the interior accomplished of the building, was used primarily concrete, marble and plasterboard. The outer windows frames are stainless steel and aluminum, while the inside are stainless steel and wood.
Photo © Barbosa & Guimarães