Location: Cartaxo, Portugal.


The new Cultural Centre in Cartaxo is a public building that features a bold in situ exposed concrete cantilever that projects onto the sidewalk and foyer to house the main auditorium. The building is located between two gables and takes on the modest urban scale of the main square of Cartaxo. The foyer on the ground floor is strongly related to the main civic square of the city, emphasising the public character of the building. The cinema is located in the basement, and the main hall was raised from the ground, with the capacity for 332 spectators. Transparency and permeability allow for a visual and spatial porous relationship to be established with the square. The public spaces are constructed with exposed concrete, slate floors and timber studs walls, thus emphasizing the presence of the character of these materials. Strong colours, bright yellow and red are used in the back stage areas, revealing to the street a somewhat lively character of these part of the building programme. In the two halls, light is revealed as if it was sculptured out of the walls and ceilings surfaces.