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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Day care and Elderly Residential Centre in Oeiras, Portugal by CVDB Arquitectos

January 10th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: CVDB Arquitectos

The project is located between in an urban area with a residential neighbourhood mainly with social housing for low income families uphill and an area with various public buildings at the lower part of the valley. The elderly day centre is in between these rather different social, programmatic and physical realities, thus celebrating both its private and public character.

Building with the surrounding landscape

  • Architects: CVDB Arquitectos
  • Project: Day care and Elderly Residential Centre
  • Location: Oeiras, Portugal
  • Project data: Open national competition – 1st prize, 2002, completed 2007
  • Client: Câmara Municipal de Oeiras (Oeiras Municipality)
  • Total Built area: 5 000 sq m (53 820 sq ft)
  • Construction cost: € 4 000 000 euros ($ 5,705,198 USD)
  • Competition stage: Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay, Patrícia Ribeiro with Catarina Anastácio and João Roldão.
  • Basic design: Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay, Patrícia Ribeiro with Ana Duarte, Catarina Anastácio, João Roldão and Marta Frazão.

East Façade

  • Detail design and construction documents: Cristina Veríssimo Diogo Burnay, Patrícia Ribeiro with Marta Frazão, António Cotrim, Ana Duarte, Filipa Pedro, Manuel Pelicano, Tiago Santos.
  • Site supervision: Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay with Marta Frazão.
  • Landscape architecture: Global, arquitectura paisagista, ltd, Inês Norton.
  • Foundation and structural engineers, water and drainage: Sipca, Engineers and consultants, ltd, Jorge Lipari Pinto and Fernanda Felix.
  • M&E, security, fire regulations: Tecnopert, ltd
  • Acoustic consultant: Certiprojecto, engineers and consultants, Palma Ruivo.
  • General Contractor: Mota-Engil, SA
  • Photography: FG+SG and Diogo Burnay


Interior corridor connecting different levels

The building presents itself as a counterpoint to the architectural character of the existing housing neighbourhood and therefore it tries to establish s strong sense of architectural identity for the existing communities, through its particular coloured and textured materials. The 60 dwellings are set out in two rows facing east-west on four interconnected floors. The spatial sequences of the circulation and of the voids in the central area are part of a bioclimatic strategy which creates several meeting points for people to talk and allow vertical transparency between floors.

Private garden connected with the building

Conceptually this space will be sufficiently flexible to allow residents to come to feel at home in the place they live in. the ground floor is constructed by black slate volumes as a counterpoint to the transparent large glazed areas which accommodate the building’s social and most public spaces. On the outside, the private garden, which is a social meeting point of the inhabitants of the Centre, appears as if were a visual extension of the public space as it can be opened to the public as well. The building/garden seeks to fit in between the various urban tensions that are present in the landscape.

Refectory view towards the garden


The Architecture practice CVDB ARQUITECTOS was founded by Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay in 1999. The studio work ranges from urban design projects to new buildings, from rehabilitation of old buildings to interior architecture or ephemeral structures. The studio is committed to develop a professional practice associated to architectural research, understanding each project as an open and participated field to all involved in the design process, exploring current design practices and building design methods that position architecture as part of a larger physical and cultural landscape and considering the individual’s experience and perception of urban spaces. The practice has had several national and international design awards, has been invited to lecture in Portugal, Spain, France, Argentina and the USA. Their work has been published and exhibited in several countries, such as Portugal, France, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Mexico and China.

CVDB Arquitectos

Cristina Veríssimo graduated in Architecture at the Faculdade de Arquitectura (FA-UTL) and has a Masters from the GSD, Harvard. She worked with João Luis Carrilho da Graça in Lisbon and with Zaha Hadid in London. She has been a jury and lectured in schools in Hong Kong, Europe, Argentina, USA, and currently teaches design studio at the Faculdade de Arquitectura in Lisbon.

Corridor overlooking onto the landscape park

Diogo Burnay graduated in Architecture at the Faculdade de Arquitectura (FA-UTL) and has a Masters from the Bartlett, London. He worked in Lisbon, London and Macau. He taught and lectured in schools in Hong Kong, Europe, was the Cass Gilbert Professor at CALA, University of Minnesota, 2002 and 2006, was the Ralph Hawkins professor at the School of Architecture of the University of Texas, Arlington, in the fall 2007 and currently teaches design studio at the Faculdade de Arquitectura in Lisbon.


Ground floor view towards the corridors vertical void

Ground floor public restrooms entrance detail

Day care and Elderly Residential Centre

East Facade


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Categories: Kindergarten, Senior center

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