28.6.2013

Centro de Formación Avanzada, en Guimarães, Brasil

Los edificios del complejo donde el Municipalidad de Guimarães ha construido el Centro de Estudios Avanzados y Formación de Postgrado de la Universidad de Minho, se encuentra en la "Zona de Couros", una zona de descanso caracterizada por un conjunto de pequeños callejones y caminos que, a raíz del pequeño río existente, constituye la estructura vial de la zona.

The buildings complex where the Munipality of Guimarães now built the Center for Advanced Postgraduate Formation for the University of Minho, is located in the “Zona de Couros” (Leathers Zone), and relates to the rest area by a set of small alleys and paths that, following the existing small river, constitute the road structure in the area.

The image of “Zona de Couros” is characterized by abandoned or transformed buildings but also memories, sometimes imaginary and subjective, that people developed from the fragments which have reached our days. From those fragments we can retain the treatment leathers tanks we can find a bit all over this area, the buildings and structures in wood and naturally the small river that was the reason for the installation of this activity (treatment of leathers) in this area. It mattered since the begining of the project process the building location in “Zona de Couros”, an area that suffered some urban segregation from the adjacent walled core of the historic center of Guimarães, but sedimented a rich and autonomous solutions and constructions of industrial buildings that together have an undeniable architectural interest, and immediately provided some themes for reflection and development.

One of those complexs are the buildings that were occupied by the former factory “Freitas & Fernandes”. We’re not referencing a single building but a set of constructions arranged around a large courtyard, which largely witness the successive events which shaped “Zona de Couros” we know it today. Part of those buildings are now rehabilitated with the installation of CAFPG. The set of buildings used for CAFPG – UM, are located west of the large inner courtyard, and was those that have been successively adapted to the needs of the textile production and presented a very unequal condition conservation. In the area now occupied by the CAFPG buildings had become very transformed, either constructively altered (by the introduction of structures in reinforced concrete and brick walls) or spatially (by introducing new levels and access), which made virtually impossible the apprehension of its original state.

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The German Ministry for the Environment

The program chosen witch the project materialized can be summarized, candidly, as a school building for the University of Minho focused in the formation of master’s and doctoral degrees and distinguishes itself from other units of the same institution because research and their dedicated spaces occupy prime place, but also because it is located off-campus and in the city center.

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