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New School of Viseu

First Project

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Site of First Year First Project
 
Piazza San Cristina, Viseu
 
(Phot by First Year Architecture Students)

Project for a New School of Architecture 

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Project Site with existing Buildings
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

The First Project of the First Year Students addresses a realistic program for the New School of Architecture in a central urban context. The site is located at the corner of an urban block overlooking Piazza San Cristina, a circular traffic square covering a recent underground parking. An existing fifty years old building and a 19th century ruin in the courtyard have to be integrated into the new project. The students have to consider both the program requirements, the site constraints and urban location as well as to articulate properly the civic character of the new building in its relationship to the surrounding fabric and the public space. 

Project Description

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View into Garden Courtyard of Projectsite
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

The program of the New School of Architecture in Viseu asks for a comfortable structure and educational facilities for 225 students and 20 faculty and staff. The students have to provide appropriate spaces for about 15 studios (~80 m2), 10 offices, a library, a cafeteria, a computer lab, student lounge, bathrooms, archives and storage facilities, etc. The projects have to consider the integration of existing structures, maintain an unbuilt courtyard or garden space, and respect requirements of structural consistance, access and vertical circulation for handicapped people, emergency and safety issues etc.

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Backstreet of Projectsite in Viseu
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Loggia of Existing Ruin in the Courtyard Garden
 
First Project Building Site
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

The Design Process

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Volumetric Diagram of Project Site
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

The design process has been scheduled over a five weeks period and started with a thourough site study and documentation. In the same time the students were asked to investigate the volume requirements, as well as to check the project impact in the existing context. They were encouraged to use diagrams and preliminary design sketches to analyze both the potential of the building site and to engage into first parti options. 

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Project Site Sketch
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Project Site Sketch, Existing Building
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

The students organized themselves in groups from two to maximum five students and were invited to interact as much as useful among the groups to gather information and discuss design strategies. Informal class meetings and reviews were instrumental to focus each group on the particular aspects of their preliminary partis. The design process has now entered (after three weeks) a final term and students are working to complete, refine and prepare their projects for final presentation. Their projects will be reviewed by a jury composed of faculty, practicing architects and urbanists, and local planning officials and politicians at the end of April after a design process of five weeks. 

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Volumetric Diagram of Building Program
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Study Model of Project, Team A
 
Students: Manuel and Ricardo
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Parti Sketch, Team A
 
Students: Manuel and Ricardo
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Study Model of Project, Team B
 
Students: Bruno, Liliana, Nuno, Hugo, Silvia
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Study Model of Project, Team B
 
Students: Bruno, Liliana, Hugo, Nuno, Silvia
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Study Model of Project, Team C
 
Students: Anna, Daniela, Pedro
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Study Model of Project, Team C
 
Students: Anna, Daniela, Pedro
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Study Model of Project, Team D
 
Students: André, José, Nelson
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)

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Class Meeting and Project Review
 
(Photo by First Year Architecture Students)