Some years ago we were invited to design the Dom Pedro Complex project: two entire clubs, with headquarters, entrances and sports and leisure outdoor areas. The architecture should propose a unique identity for both clubs, but at the same time design independently flows organization, spaces, dimensions, relation with views and surroundings. Almost like two projects in one.
After several studies, we decided to start the project at first through the outdoor areas – we organized the courts, fields, playgrounds, pools and access spaces - and predicting the most adequate spaces to host each one of the headquarters buildings. For the volumes, we assumed a simple concept: we adopted a kind of “volumetric unit”, as a result of a decoupage of the original program. With this program’s reduction we obtained a clear sectorization of each of the building’s important areas – changing rooms, gym, hall, party room, services, access and so on.
Each of these program’s units was organized based on the best location for it and it’s relation with external and internal flows. To each one of them we created a volume that varies in dimensions and heights, but always follows the rule of having two open facades: one oriented to the main access and the other one to the pool and privileged views. After that, we opted to interlace the volumes and create continuous blocks with them. This interlacing creates a hierarchy between the program’s sectors, allowing the identification of each area at a fair distance, while creating a sculpture-alike shape, responsible for the different and interesting views the spectator can have while drifting through the complex.
The internal walls, perhaps necessary, were placed in a fair distance from the main unitary volume’s edge and were coated in wood, preserving the principal volume. All the blocks were covered entirely in cement coating – floors, walls, ceilings. However, we reached three slightly different shades of grey to highlight the different functions of each one of these spaces.
As a foundation to each block we proposed exposed gabion walls, normally used in infrastructure works as a contrast with the pure building shape mentioned above. Theses volumes are organized back and forth through the gabion walls, resting it selves to the views or to the pools.
The project’s overall outcome was of a single concept, unique and strong for the complex’s both buildings, creating volumetry almost sculpture-alike. Besides the clear relation between the two buildings and its concepts, each one of them has a single character and very intimate relations with the external program and the surrounding nature.