Research Center for Lusofona University, Porto

Out of the wall starts Passeio das Fontainhas, the old passage that works as an east connection. Just a bit on the left, before this old passage the Lusofona University is located where the land it is flatter. Walking the little street that is on the left side of the university, you will walk in front of residential buildings. Here the first volume connected with the university is.

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Porto, Portugal


Politecnico di Milano


2014 - 2015

Site Area

8.000 m²

Project Area

2.400 m²


Emiliano Berni

Yuri Rocco

Chao Zheng


Research Project: Strategic Planning, Cultural Planning Concept: Architectural Design


Cultural, Exhibition, Convention Center, Recreational, Education, Waterfront, landscape.





Territorial Analysis

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The Buildings

The building comes out of the land until the riverfront. At the first impact you don't notice the hugeness of this building arriving in the square where the main entrance is, but if you continue on the right you reach the first view point. It is just up to Passeio das Fontainhas and it makes you appreciate the landscape that helps to understand the implicit function of the building: a connection between up and down, between the street next to the river and Passeio das Fontainhas, becoming then the intermediary between different spaces, where a high granite slope is. This is the reason for the huge dimension of it. The height of the land is impressive. The view faces the other side, constricted by two bridges that link the two sides will focus on two monumental buildings, the Monastery on the other side and the pure volume of the research centre. The area it’s excluded from the main road network , which means that all the area can be only pedestrian; in this part of the city there aren't much green spaces, a part of the project area which it works as green lung. Here you have two choices to reach the river road, the building working as an axe and its implicit aim is the first direct way. When you get in you will immediately understand that this is a not really wide building, but long, built on this high land, really like a gothic site. From inside the highest point it is really high, this is because to the real connection between the Passeio das Fontainhas and the river road, providing so many interesting views. There are many function directly connected with the university and not (private-public), like an Auditorium and a Library. Going down, you meet the middle entrance that is on the library floor directly connected with the wild ramps passage. More down the bottom entrance is on the same level of the river road. The landscape that surrounds the building is a natural entertainment to the user that enjoy the promenades, while is gently driven towards the lower part of the project where the street front is. A series of flexible spaces allows many different activities and provides more services, private and public. The space is organised by fixed points which keep the gothic proportion and submerged by green, it is separated from the river road by three main walls. The other choice, is to use the wild and semi-natural path that starts from Passeio das Fontainhas, by using green ramps it let you arrive in a series of different "terraces" until the street down, linking not just up and down but also east and west in a mix of private and public open space. The walk on the ramps is longer and slowly thus let you observe different situations: from the ancient wall, to the huge building of the research centre, on the other side the big Monastery. When you arrive down on the same level of the river road you meet the flexible spaces. In between those a path drives you in a calm atmosphere to the bottom entrance of the building, all thanks to the three walls that keep the chaotic traffic of the river road out and give the perception as a street house from a street point of view. At the end this project become the “locus” of this piece of Porto where facilities for all people are located, especially for the students.


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Physical Model

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