Retail and Services Building - Braga

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Retail and Services Building - Braga
The land is located in a residential and commercial area where these 8-9 storey buildings share the area with other large footprint buildings as is typical of huge shopping centres. The land holds a number of complex urban problems due to the need for articulation of different functions and scales of buildings as well as an incomplete road network with different sizes and functions. A building essentially composed through the articulation of two volumes is proposed: A lower body, with two storeys above ground and with a circular shape on one side so as to adapt to the road network; Another volume that stands out by its vertical development in the east façade has 9 floors above ground. The development is wrapped with a canopy that joins the two bodies giving unity to the whole. The overall design allows the reading of a base with a volume that passes through and is projected towards the sky. The lower body is covered by a raw concrete facade, in jet black, and is torn by continuous apertures. The higher body, has an interior facade lined with ceramic tiles in shades of green, and is occasionally split in the outer bays. Balconies were designed around the whole perimeter of each floor. The balconies have different dangles to allow for a comprehensive volume shape which is wider in the middle than in the ends. This body has an exterior "skin" which consists of a metal structure that holds small glass plates. The design sought this volume to acquire brightness and half-transparency to enable the achievement of a more dematerialized volume but with a wealth of behavioural effects of natural and artificial light. The common canopy connecting the two bodies described above, is also finished with raw concrete in jet black, and is crowned by a green landscaped cover, in order to achieve a tight integration of the large "mass" that occupies this body. The cover features a series of cone-shaped skylights, that overhead light the commercial spaces it houses. The access branches of the surrounding road structure were reformulated. The program of the lower body houses a retail space for "Supercor", whose area for public access is of 2.000.00 sq metres and the service area is of 1000.00 sq metres. The main entrance is via the interstitial space between the two volumes. This space was designed as if it were a covered square. The first floor of this sector comprises 10 retail units. The highest volume is intended for offices. This sector of the building is served by a vertical circulation core, consisting of a staircase and two lifts.


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