Regino Cruz Arquitectos wins design competition run by Faro and Loulé, Portugal
Portuguese design firm Regino Cruz Arquitectos has been selected as the winner of a competition to design a new Congress and Exhibition Centre in the Algarve. Run by Faro and Loulé Municipal Councils, the competition aims to develop the site to the Algarve Stadium with an impressive Congress Centre complemented by a four star hotel and retail and office complex.
Winning architect Regino Cruz explains: “Entering a Congress Centre should be a unique experience for the first time visitor. The architecture of the new Parque das Cidades Congress Centre shows an avant-garde image in a striking, innovative and welcoming building that lingers in the memory of the visitors and invites them to return.”
The strong concept design comprises large volumes of internal flexible space, responding directly to the functional requirements of the building’s users. Externally the architect has been inspired by the nearby ocean which is mirrored in a screen-printed glass wall that extends over the triple height of the main entranceway. This vast expanse of glass is contrasted by elements of traditional local housing styles incorporated into the facade, such as whitewashed walling.
Cruz furthers: “Not only the pergolas but also the roofs and their multiple triangulations that one sees time and again in the silhouettes of the surrounding towns and villages, inspired by the metrics of the structure and the geometry of the large glass structures.” Energy efficiency plays a large part in the concept design, with a water recycling system gathering rainwater from the roof to store in tanks and facades on the south and west-facing sides (which have the greatest thermal inertia) more opaque than those on the north and east-facing sides.
Despite an architect having been selected by the collaborating councils, the Algarve Observer has run a story revealing that the necessary funding of €20m is yet to be found. The project allegedly has €3m of the full amount and is expecting to attain the remaining €17m from public-private partnerships and community funds.