Lake Towers

Sua Kay Architects as Architects

The Arrabida Lake Towers project is a landmark project located a stone’s throw from the Arrabida bridge and the main access into the city of Oporto Commanding stunning views of this historic city as well as the mouth of the river Douro, the site has an unmatchable visibility from the A1 motorway.

 

Lake Towers consists of two office towers and two housing blocks set in lush gardens with large expanses of grass, planted areas and formal lakes and water features. The buildings sit delicately over the landscape either gently treading the grassed areas or dipping their feet into the lakes themselves.

 

The architectural treatment of the buildings will differentiate the housing from the offices, through the use of more traditional stone cladding for the housing and a mix of stone and glass façades for the offices. At ground level the physical separation of the two is achieved through the skilful use of the water features acting as barriers between them.


THE OFFICE TOWERS


The ground floor gives over to a generous fully glazed entrance lobby with views of the surrounding gardens and lakes. The ground floor lobby accommodates a waiting area, reception desk, a battery of four elevators and two emergency stairs. In one of the towers the reception area is complemented by a small bar area with views of the gardens and lakes.


The upper floor lobbies are spacious and provide a dignified and elegant entrance to the office spaces. These are serviced by individual sanitary installations.


The structural grid of 7.5 x 7.5 provides the greatest possible flexibility on all levels, accommodating a three bay parking arrangement between columns at basement level and a 1.25 matrix for maximum flexibility in the space planning of the office levels. This modulation applied to the building façade and the office ceilings provides a totally flexible three dimensional planning grid.

 

The façades of the tower incorporate a sun shading element to reduce excess heat gain in the interior of the building. The glazing will be of high performance glass.

Internally, materials will be chosen not only for their aesthetic qualities but also for their durability and reduced maintenance - granite floors, wood panelling in the lobbies, metal ceilings, and fully tiled sanitary installations.

Three basement levels common to both towers accommodate 551 parking spaces, and technical installations - water tanks, pumps, transformer station and storage facilities).


THE HOUSING TOWERS


The buildings consist of two basement floors for parking, storage spaces and technical areas, ground floor for accesses and nine elevated floors for housing.


The uniformity of the height (Ground floor + 9 upper floors), freed the ground for the development of large green areas, pedestrian pathways and water mirrors, integrated in a refined landscape treatment. The fact that the ground floor is occupied only by the accesses visually releases the building and leads to the visual continuity of green areas and water mirrors.


The land modelling, which in the interior of the lot is one level below, allows the existence of a Health Club and a common area with natural light, for the exclusive use of the residents. The pedestrian paths lead to this space, from the outside, through ramps, stairways and well-kept gardens.


Each building is a volume with four fronts, equally cared for in terms of finishes, so there is no concept of front and rear facade.


The  symmetry evident in the buildings plans and its volumetric treatment is also reflected in the facades which, in all the areas, show this characteristic.


The mesh of 5m, 7.5 m and 10m leads to the use, on the facades, of standard modules that accuse the structure and whose interior division is determined by the organization of the apartments.


In choosing the materials that lining the building weighed its aesthetic image and integration with the architecture of the condominium, without conflicting with the existing architecture in this area. It was also a great influence in choosing the fact that they are materials of reduced maintenance, compatible cost and whose technical characteristics contribute to optimize the energy consumption of the buildings.

 


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