Lisbon School – Portugal

A conceptual design scheme for a primary school and nursery in Lisbon; set within the neighbourhood of Xabregas by the shores of the Tagus.

The existing mid 20th century twin blocks are examples of Português Suave architecture and are in need of unification, reorientation and expansion.

The sites sloped topography already divides the school into defined levels that step back from the river. Our proposal better relates these planes, with new stairwells and connecting thresholds. Cross laminated timber will comprise the structural frames for extensions; being both locally sourced and quick to construct. Green Viroc panelling mirrors the linear fins of neighbours whilst being distinctly contemporary in colour and texture.

The entranceways and access have been altered, with a reception area at the rear of the campus branching into a bridge that connects the existing buildings; improving wayfinding and circulation between lessons. A statement tower anchors the front elevation, signifying another access route and mirroring the language of an aedicula gatehouse around the corner.

 A cloister wraps around a central revamped playground, framing stunning views of the river beyond, whilst protecting pupils from wind and sun exposure exacerbated by the south facing vantage. The gymnasium sits beneath this courtyard; a new multipurpose space with exposed trusses, reminiscent of a modern Pombaline structure.

Jonathan Tuckey Design

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