Regional blood donation centre, Coimbra (Portugal)

 

Regional blood donation centre, Coimbra (Portugal)

In Portugal, the blood donation network was reorganised around four regional hubs. The ARX architecture firm designed two donation centres: one in Porto and one in Coimbra, a small city in the centre of the country. The new modern building houses services and laboratories formerly located in confined premises in the city's hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

Architect: ARX Arquitectos, José Mateus and Nuno Mateus
Technique: VMZINC® Standing seam, Surface aspect: QUARTZ-ZINC®

 

The centre occupies a large wooded plot. Despite the presence of numerous constructions in the surrounding area, the prevailing impression is that of being in the middle of the countryside. The centre appears like a natural element through the trees, its plan blending with the contours of the landscape. No roof, no facade, just an elongated volume with rounded corners, clad with QUARTZ-ZINC®, which makes it look like a large bark or a rock. Some visitors have compared it to a large snake, with its elongated form and skin of scales, punctuated by the rhythm of the horizontal and vertical standing seams.

 

A glass facade awaits at the gable. The building's recessed and overlap openings are horizontally aligned with the zinc strips, conspicuously departing from the urban window typology and its logical sequencing. An element conveying the building's quest for “nature”, which guided the architects throughout the project. Inside the building, these openings provide beautiful panoramic views of
the forest.