Facade Refurbishment of IGP Building

Elsa Caeiro, Arquitectos as Architects

The building of the Portuguese Geographic Institute is a century-old building that has housed various functions, and who has always had the ability to adapt to the needs. However, an intervention untidy early 90s destroyed part of one of the bodies, to create a modern structure of concrete, which remained unfinished.


Against a backdrop so delicate, there was need to restore dignity to the building, however we had the mandatory restriction as to maintain the existing structure and a budget. Proposed the creation of a skin that allowed recycle and protect the built volumes, protecting it from atmospheric agents, conferring dignity. Within the intervention was reduced to a minimum, creating a refined and versatile, so you can integrate the activities of the institute.


Tried to reconcile the existing structure with a coating that integrates and enhances the built heritage and urban environment in order to contribute to the balance of the set, establishing a dialogue with the contemporary building constructed.


It was necessary to create a lightweight self-supporting structure to support the outer walls because the slabs exist are staggered, not allowing the construction of solid walls. Thus, we opted for the creation of a structure in mild galvanized steel profiles which was suspended in the slab and the upper beam and fixed all the slabs, so as to constitute a perfect locking it, releasing the entrance floor to create large glazed . The choice of the structural system had to do mainly with its lightness, flexibility and speed of execution.


The strength and flexibility while Galvanized Mild Steel allow suspend the entire structure of the outer walls, without overloading the existing structure. We have chosen to construction systems essentially dry and natural materials and recycled wood, OSB (consisting of wood fibers oriented), reinforced gypsum boards (consisting of gypsum and recycled paper), thereby reducing the environmental contamination and emission of CO2.


The redevelopment of the outdoor spaces, ensure continuity of the intervention, creating an image of continuity in their treatment. The use of plant material in this area is of particular importance because it is a key element for visual comfort and hygrothermal.

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Project Credits
The Danish Maritime Museum
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The Danish Maritime Museum

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Helsingor, Denmark
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