Opening in Porto in January 2010, the new Portugal headquarters for phone giant Vodafone is a sight of modernity, movement, angles and abstraction. The extraordinary structure was designed by architects José António Barbosa and Pedro Guimarães of Barbosa Guimarães Arquitectos.
Situated on busy Avenida da Boavista, the building both blends in with other buildings on the curve of the road, but also makes its own bold statement of uniqueness in this town of traditional architecture.
“The building is a shell of concrete irregular shapes, forming a kind of mosaic that plays with the acute forms of the glass, becoming a unique and formidable piece of art. The geometric forms full of movement seems to dance and convey the Vodafone idea: ‘Vodafone life, life in motion.’” acknowledges Guimarães
The building is comprised of eight floors—three are underground. The ground floor provides the access and lobby to the building. There is also an auditorium and cafeteria. A shop-front faces the avenue. Floors 1-4 are open space areas for general office work. A large terrace is available for short breaks to take in fresh air. Below the building, floors -3 and -2 are purely for parking. Floor -1 provides additional parking, but also space for a technical room and training rooms.
“The formalization of this concept is based on the concrete, which through its plasticity, allows the ability to create irregular and free-form shapes, working both as a structural solution and exterior appearance, creating a unique shape, a monolithic building, bringing cohesion and unity to the set.”
“The technical complexity of the building leads to a periphery structural solution, a shell of concrete, like an egg, reducing internal support to the two stairwells and three central pillars, allowing great versatility in its interior space use.” – Barbosa & Guimarães
Photo Credits: Nelson Garrido