Quite the Remodel

January 15, 2008

When I first read about this project, I must have skimmed a bit too quickly because I thought it was a factory, and I couldn't figure out where all of the equipment was located! Upon more careful reading, I realize that this was a significant remodel/refurbishment project for an existing factory, with a new realization as a public arts space in Tomar Portugal. While this makes it much clearer why there is no evidence of industrial equipment, I still wonder where all of the program is located... There are supposed to be lecture halls, an apartment for an artist in residence, administrative spaces, and more linked together on the upper level (check out the image above). The spaces themselves are quite beautiful and the light is very dramatic, but I still wonder where the activity goes? Its hard to imagine actually using this lovely piece of architecture; the pristine and minimal detailing almost seems more reminiscent of an art installation or a piece of furniture, rather than the center of a vibrant art community. I'd love to see some more images once the building is fully occupied.
Still, all criticism aside, the New Build in Tomar (also possibly named the Tomar Environmental Monitoring Offices) by Embaixada Arquitectura is still a spectacular reuse of an existing shell and wonderful interior design.

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