The space intervention in this graded listed building inserted inside the “Hospital of the Venerable Third Order of St. Francis”, next to the Church of S. Francis and the Ferreira Borges Market in the city of Porto.
Due to the characteristics of the building, as well as the nobility and peculiarity of all its surroundings, the main intention for this project was to create a space of reference, not only for the services provided but also for the architectural aspects.
The concept adopted intentionally attempts to enhance the perception of the monumental space in order to abstract the user from its clinical and technical side.
Within this principle, it was our intention to highlight the historical value of the site, exploiting the shape of the existing vaults and emphasizing the pre-existences of the master walls through the contrast with new materials and lines of modern architecture.
New and pre-existing materials and textures were combined with neutral tones and purposeful densities. The clean appearance of the plasterboard walls and jointless microcements contrasting with the stone textured master walls, clay brick vaults, as well as the use of a warm tone of corten steel, increases the associated visual roughness.
In order to emphasize the “museum” feel of the space, indirect ambient lighting was utilized throughout the space.
In order to allow the full perception of the pre-existing vaults, the proposed partitions for the examination rooms within the space of the old chapel, were design to be way from the ceiling. These partitions of 2.20 meters in height, were finished with glazed windows and a metal structure, to comply with the 3 meters height rule for examination rooms required by building regulations.
Bounded by the same altimetry rules, the same concept was used throughout the entire clinic including the changing rooms and recovery rooms, associated. Some of these were finished with porcelain mosaic panels with texture and tone of corten steel, and perforated plate with the tone of corten steel.
To allow for visual continuity throughout the clinic the placement of microcement as flooring in the entire clinic was proposed, with the exception of the floors of the MRI, X-Ray and CT Scan rooms, which due to building regulations received a vinyl floor.
To break with the norm, the reception desk and cabinet were treated as the exception to the rule. As a result, these elements were coated in a composite material resembling Carrara marble. This same material was used at the reception desk of the upper floor and in the toilet facilities.
The division between the reception/waiting room and access to the examination rooms was designed to be made through frosted glass doors. This allows separation between a public access area, and most private areas.
The various programmatic valences of the technical area are differentiated through a metal structure of shelves and associated desks as well as the combination of transparent glass and translucent glass. This option intensifies the perception of an open space and is heightened by an illuminated wall to the entire length of this particular space.
Due to building regulations, the interior of the MRI room received a different coating from the other rooms. For this space we opted for using an antibacterial agglomerate to match the tone and texture of natural pine. The same agglomerate was used for the desk countertops.
Aesthetically, the project distinguishes for its unique character within an extraordinary space and transforms an historical and distinctive space into a functional and eccentric space in the city of Porto.
Architects: Espaço Oficina – Creative Studio, Lda
Architecture/Interior Design: Joana Faro Leite, Mariana Martins
Photographer: João Gigante
Davide Groppi: Infinito
Dekton, Consentino: Kovik
Secil Argamassas: Microcimento cor 013
Techlam, Levantina: Steel Corten
Forbo: Superstep Snow, ref.176082
Finsa: ref. 94S/Roble Vainilla, Jazz