Institute of Health Research and Investigation University of Porto

Title: Institute of Health Research and Investigation University of Porto
Location: Porto, Portugal
Studio: Serôdio Furtado & Associados, Arquitectos Lda.
Author: Isabel Furtado & João Pedro Serôdio
Category: Collective Places
Video: Serôdio Furtado & Associados, Arquitectos Lda.
Photos: Luís Ferreira Alves

The elongated and low volume limits the garden, following an integrated urban logic, discreet in height but very present when it comes to the urban front of the lot . The compact shape of the building, determined by the laboratories areas that are placed on top of the floor of the common services and public areas, smaller in size and indented, makes itself visible above the ground without touching it. The contact with the ground is made by the common services and public areas of the ground floor.
The two laboratories floors are the ones that determine the shape and image of the building. This decision to reference the design and formal concept building on its minimum unit, giving this way more signifcance to its function, the laboratory, it's the central idea for the project. Therefore, this solution results in a very compact shape, despite having only three floors above the ground quota. This compact and elongated is pierced by patios that brings light to each one of the labs, on its wider side.


Responding to the technical component asked for the building, as to created the best connector between the different spaces, it was created a functional organization. With this lens, we understand this building as a research machine.
A public area connects the entrance level with the other two levels, creating a “cascade” from sky to earth. The public spaces, distributed on the ground floor, have generous areas, and allow the connection between people. Besides that, it leads to the connection between people and the light, through the geometry of the construction.
In the research laboratories, the light was controlled to permit the creation of a space of concentration. These work spaces are introverted but reflect great attention to the quality of the interior spaces – flooded with light from patios.
The material allows the construction the geometry which contain the architectural idea. The laboratories, white and luminous, create a contrast with the public areas, stronger and gray, which permit a variety of approachings to the space.
The aim of this project is to reconnect the organic movement of the users, with the geometrical configuration of the spaces. The users movement through the building define its character. The rigorous design process establish a close relationship between the organization of the building, and the forms that people describe, with the insertion of their lives in this space.