Historic building adapted to meet education requirements of the 21st Century
The Lyceu Passos Manuel is included in a restricted list of classified buildings of the 20th century, partly due to the acknowledgement of its architecture but also because it merits special esteem. This historic facility is an exception in the entire collection of Portuguese schools, being the first purposely-designed secondary school building in Portugal. It is located at the western end of Bairro Alto, the historic centre of Portuguese capital Lisbon.
Conditions to transform this building and its capacity to accept new programmes and functionalities were evaluated beforehand. The surrounding urban context, the scale and the formal and constructive characteristics of Lyceu Passos Manuel and the need to readapt it in terms of functions and infrastructures, including a more pragmatic plan to comply with the legal framework on safety, accessibility, environmental comfort and energy efficiency features, proclaimed a complex but delicate intervention and foresaw a demanding task for the design team.
The intervention that was intended and which was confirmed in the work for the Lyceu Passos Manuel was based on three fundamental areas: the re-infrastructuring of the building(s) and outdoor spaces; the introduction of new functions and equipment and respective adaptability to the buildings, with the location of a new restaurant room and a multi-purpose sports facility; and patrimonial enhancement of its architectonic identity. The conservation and restoration work was one of the more delicate aspects requiring daily presence to monitor all of the works.