Architecture practice Aires Mateus designed a monumental box-shaped building hosting a center of the arts in Sines, Portugal.
The building is situated at the start of the main street linking the town to the sea and marking the traditional entrance to the historic nucleus. The Centre subsumes diverse activities capable of generating an exceptional building: exhibition rooms, a library, cinema-cum-theatre and a documentation centre. The wide-raging program calls for the whole plot to be occupied, enveloping the street below mean ground level and adapting its exterior volumetry to the monumental scale of the castle walls.
The four modules are set out on the upper floors in parallel bands intercalated with patios. The decks were hung from a bridge-like structure supported on the perimetral walls alone. This system allows a spatial configuration on the basement level that is adapted to the dimensions of the common areas; at street level it guarantees an unbroken view right across the inside of the building, including the activity of the Centre in the daily life of the town.