António Belém Lima

Engineers Association . Vila Real

António Belém Lima . Engineers Association . Vila Real (6)

António Belém Lima . photos: © FG+SG | architectural photography

In the modest Engineers Association’s location in Vila Real, you realize that the building’s potential and architecture can once again be gently manifest.


When a building concentrates meanings and returns those same denotations with redoubled intensity, it can be considered a resonance box. This underlines the expectant emptiness between Vila Velha Museum and the obsolete house that defines the void and convincingly assumes its finishes. That same void is the air volume that propagates the sound between walls.

Resonance Box

When it is built to the parcel limit once occupied, the box freely embodies an archetype of any memory and reactivates the density of the street front, in the meantime emptied. For this reason, this is another piece that it’s added to history of Vila Velha, as a new item in the museum’s collection. The building’s prismatic cut out takes away time, hence the timelessness that resonates in any memory. It approaches the decayed wall in the same way that the stone plan of the museum is reflected.

In that context, it is considered an institution-architecture without any monumental intention. Despite the free window composition, the central void height goes beyond the domestic scale, referring a hypothetical axiality. Inside, the space is perceived as unlimited diagonals that widen the gaze in multiple frames. If seen from within, the windows are enlarged lenses of an outer scenery in motion, driven whenever we move, sideways, in depth, rising slowly, returning, observing. If seen from the outside, the windows are amplifiers that when they appear too small or large, deepen, by contrast, the museum’s silent casing.

Without any programmatic curtsy, the unfolding of the building’s void of the Engineers Association deferred its understanding and prolonged its experience. By expressing itself gently, the playful sense of the Venturi’s soul of Belém Lima invades the melancholy of the Rossi’s archetype. Like a sound device, the skilfully trimmed
resonance box ambitions for other sounds and surpasses the physical dimension with the amplitude of its performativity.

Ordem dos Engenheiros
Localização | Location
Rua de S.Dinis, Vila Real
Projecto/Obra | Project/Work
Arquitecto | Architect
António Belém Lima
Equipa de Arquitectura / Architecture Team
Duarte Silva, Cláudia Lopes, Francisco Seixas da Silva, Luís Monteiro da Gama
Engenharias | Engineering
Estruturas | Strutures
Carlos Moreira4
Hidráulica | Hydraulic
António Pádua Azevedo
Electricidade | Electicity
Luís Pizarro
Acústica | Acoustic
Rui Calejo
Rui Fortuna
Segurança Contra Incêndios | Fire Safety
Rogério Bessa/Isabel Veiga
Cliente | Client
Ordem dos Engenheiros
Construtor | Constructor
Anteros – Empreitadas, Sociedade de Construção e Obras Públicas, S.A.
Mobiliário | Furniture
Tartaruga | Adelaide Serra
Fotografia | Photography
Fernando Guerra + Sérgio Guerra
Texto | Text
Bruno Gil
Tradução | Translation
Joana Guerreiro Cravo
Design Gráfico | Graphic Design
João Araújo & Rita Huet And Atelier

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