4 Star Hotel in Figueira da Foz, Portugal

This project was born from an invitation to participate in a public tender, for the rehabilitation and alteration of a public swimming pools building, that takes its water from the sea, on the waterfront of Figueira da Foz, a city from the district of Coimbra, Portugal. The original project of this building from 1953, was designed by Arqto Isaias Cardoso and is classified as a building of public interest together with the neighboring building, the Grand Hotel da Figueira.

The program included the construction of a 4 Star hotel with 50 rooms, the restoration of the restaurant from the old swimming pools to its original form, the construction of commercial spaces at the waterfront and the use of the basement for a Thalassotherapy center and a parking.

This building was changed a lot in 2006 by the City Council, which demolished the entire terrace of the pool and shops, to create a basement. Consequently, its reconstruction substantially reduced the volume of the pool and the dynamics of the building. Many of these works were never completed, leaving part of the building in ruins.

After winning the competition, there was a need to collaborate with the DGPC – Portuguese General Ministry of Cultural Heritage, in order to be able to approve the volume of the intended expansion, without disturbing the relation of the two buildings Piscina-Mar/ Grand Hotel.

The solution was only achieved with the proposal of a suspended volume over the terrace, freeing up space to expand the pool under the volume and restoring it to the original dimensions it once had.

Raising the volume from the floor, provided the desired permeability, but also made it possible to detach it from the existing one, since in the existing building and proposed new one do not touch on the corner, diminishing a point of tension between two realities, in this case, two interventions.

Taking advantage of the repetition of the vertical metric that characterizes the Modern Architecture of the original building, may it be from its louvers, from its slender pillars, from its guards or cadence of spans, it was decided to develop a metric that marked the new glazed facade, giving it a volumetric density, while maintaining the permeable characteristic of the glass plane.

Despite being very marked by its expansion, the proposal for the Piscina-Mar da Figueira da Foz is not only its expansion, but intends to fully rehabilitate a building very representative of the modern architecture practiced in Portugal in the mid-20th century, which is currently in a high state of degradation.

Figueira da Foz, Portugal