Cultural Center in Castelo Branco Mateo Arquitectura

Mateo Arquitectura

Mateo 建筑事务所在2000年赢得的Castelo Branco城市文化中心终于在2013年建成。这座建筑漂浮于一个广场之上,下方的空间开放自由,还能



The plaza is a surface, a topography drawn out in relation to the movement of the water and built by pedreiros, following patterns that are

abstract but not random.

Floating on this surface is an object. At its base, water, frozen here to form a skating rink.

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The relation between the CulturalCenter and the Plaza

The project presented the challenge of addressing the great complexity of the public space and the various traffic and urban pro- blems of the

historic center of Castelo Branco. The aim of the CulturalCenter, fur thermore, was to turn the old town into a cultural nerve center for the city.

The plaza, designed in the first phase (2007),  is moulded to the site to deal with the initial topographic problems and accommodate the various

buildings designed to go there. Located on the slope of the hill that leads to the castle, it exploits the topography to form crosswise strips,

giving rise in the central space of the project to a plaza whose gentle slopes give rise almost naturally to a pool of water in the center of the

plaza, in front of the CulturalCenter.


The Cultural Center, built in phase two, though par t of the original project, floats on two piles over the plaza, like a bridge, freeing up at its

base a covered ice-skating rink, and giving continuity to this large public space, to the plaza and to the adjacent park. It forms another par t of

the plaza, drawing on the Por tuguese tradition of skating and the cold continental climate.

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With its wooden façade, in contrast to the zinc-clad reinforced concrete of the suspended par t, it is a bubble of activity, a roof and a floor that

floats above the site, relating the urban sequence, the plaza and the park.

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Descending one of the ramps generated by the folds in the pa- ving of Praça Largo da Devesa, we come to the main entrance of Castelo

Branco Cultural Center. We move towards it, dazzled by the great façade of wooden slats, adjustable at one point to regulate the lighting, that

look down on us from their position in the air.

Almost without our realizing, this descent brings us to the recep- tion, situated below grade and leading into a great gallery. This floor also

accommodates the administrative area.

Continuing with the variations in the floor level, a gradual slope takes us to the car park, for the public, which expands beneath the building and

the plaza.

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On the second floor, opposite the stage, are the control room and a bar connected with the main entrance to the auditorium where visitors can

relax. There is also a multipurpose space on this floor, enclosed between the exhibition hall and the auditorium..


The top floor offers stunning vistas of Castelo Branco, with the castle that gives the city its name.

Finally, the roof, concealing all the machinery, opens up in a great skylight over the exhibition hall, providing natural lighting.



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