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Specific Atmosphere - itinerary #2

Miguel C. Tavares

An atmospheric itinerary across Portuguese architecture.

Each space has a specific atmosphere. In this film, the director Miguel Tavares presents an atmospheric itinerancy across Portuguese homes and public spaces. Tavares' film is accompanied by music composed by José Alberto Gomes specifically for each setting. As the film sequences through different locations, each piece of architecture reveals its peculiarities – while maintaining a larger story of tranquility and beauty. Through suspension and slow pacing, a portrait of contemporary Portuguese architecture is revealed.

The Machado de Castro National Museum, remodeled by Gonçalo Byrne, is a display of history, showing the symbiosis of the forms built over two thousand years, and the topography it is embedded in. The second project, Montemor-o-Velho Assisted Walkway, designed by Miguel Figueira, redefines the vertical pedestrian approach to the town's castle with escalators, and fortifies the castle's vital relationship with the community. Moving south to the town of Miranda do Corvo, the project Corvo House, designed by Atelier do Corvo, is the result of three single family homes merging into one. Visual and physical connections to the landscape were a main design consideration as circulating pathways between the homes were carved out of the existing material. Next, the 25 April Documentation Centre, designed by José Paulo dos Santos and Cristina Guedes, is an instance of the recent Portuguese modernity. The sequence of spaces within allows the structure to maintain a sense of autonomy, intensified by its many different functions over centuries. The film ends with a renovation of a single family home designed by Jorge Teixeira Dias. This project centers the structure, stair circulation, bathrooms, and other facilities together, in an effort to preserve the original façade and framing, but create a thermally and acoustically conscious structure.

Specific Atmosphere is a film series featuring projects selected for the exhibition Habitar Portugal, produced by the Portuguese Architects Association. Each chapter is composed by a collection of short films assembled into a mid-length film. The first ten videos featured in the Specific Atmosphere #1 feature buildings located in the Metropolitan Area of Porto, and the five videos featured in the Specific Atmosphere #2 feature buildings located in Coimbra's region.

(Story by Cara Welch, The Architecture Player)


Architect: Gonçalo Byrne, Miguel Figueira, Atelier do Corvo, José Paulo dos Santos and Cristina Guedes, Jorge Teixeira Dias
Mentioned project: Machado de Castro National Museum, Coimbra; Montemor-o-Velho Assisted Walkway, Montemor-o-Velho; Corvo House, Miranda do Corvo; 25 April Documentation Centre, Coimbra; Remodelling of single-family House, Coimbra
Project location: Norte, Portugal
Music: José Alberto Gomes
Curators: Luis Tavares Pereira, Bruno Baldaia, Magda Seifert
Copyright: Habitar Portugal 12-14, Ordem dos Arquitectos

Portugal 2016
Duration: 15'51''