Pestana Casino Studios

Pestana Casino Studios

Architect
Atelier Bruno Martins
Location
Funchal, Portugal | View Map
Project Year
2017
Category
Hotels

Pestana Casino Studios

Atelier Bruno Martins as Architects

In order to talk about the last hotel built by the Pestana group, I first have to talk about how this building was built, and how it didn't take more than 8 months to be finished. But how, when we know that a hotel with 3,500m2 and 75 rooms would have to have a construction time of at least twice as much?

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It is in 2013, when I was looking into construction technologies and their role in architecture, housing and other programs, that my research into modular construction begins. 

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While the exhaustive repetition of modular systems can make the architecture less significant, it is no less true that we will not be able to solve the housing problem without being more inventive. And without first taking care to be more sustainable in our solutions, seeking to respond to this problem while also taking into account economic and environmental factors.

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In order to answer all these questions, I dedicated about 5 years of my life to research, coordinating an ambitious research project, which brought together the IST-Instituto Superior Técnico, the LREC-Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory and Betar - studies and projects, working with renowned professors like Antonio Gago or Jorge Proença, or engineers like Carlos Magro or Miguel Villar. At the end of this journey, there could not be greater validation than the Pestana group betting on the construction system, which was first in visioned by me, but whose final result is the merit of many more people.

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Although the housing program was the driving force behind the investigation, the solution found is easily applied to other programs. And this brings us to the Pestana Casino Studios project. Based on a metal structure, and covered with high density rockwool panels, the dry construction system allows you to predict all phases of the work and quantify them accurately, avoiding – for those who know how to do it – not just unwanted surprises, but also precise lead times and controlled costs. And it suppresses a lot of time compared to more conventional methods. Despite being cheaper than the so-called traditional construction, it is not, as many people think, much cheaper. But it is certainly more sustainable, much faster, and more importantly, more evolved in every way, which is reflected in its construction quality, durability and maintenance.

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The visible structure allows protection against fire, that the panels provide. An interesting and unique aesthetic solution that defines the appearance of all constructions of this nature. Although each and every building, built on this system, has a very rigid structure and metrics - which represents an additional effort for architects - it is also true that its apparent structure reveals great elegance and a strong identity. This is what happens at the Hotel Pestana Casino Studios, with a clearly marked image of the adjacent buildings. But well connected with the whole environment, integrating well through its implantation, volumetry and architecture.

 

Bruno Martins

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