The property that will receive CASA DA ARQUITECTURA is located in Matosinhos and occupies the block delimited by Av. Menéres, R. Mouzinho de Albuquerque, R. Sousa Aroso and R. D. João I. The edifices, now recovered and adapted, were part of the old factory built between 1897 and 1901 by the company Menéres & Companhia and meant for the Real Companhia Vinícola. Unaffected by progressive industrial transformation and the urbanization of its surroundings, it was selected for preservation and adaptation because of its high patrimonial and cultural value. It is a model of British inspiration and tradition, where the region’s first steam cooperage was installed. A byway of the rail line connected it to the docks of the Port of Leixões for shipment and export of its output. The building is characterized and visually dominated by turrets. The central courtyard appears as a Plaza Mayor, making it suitable it for collective uses. The property is part of the Urbanization Plan of Matosinhos Sul, by Álvaro Siza.
CASA DA ARQUITECTURA occupies part of the block of the Real Vinícola, a group of buildings with a total an area of 4.700 m2 restored by the Municipality of Matosinhos with a project by architect Guilherme Machado Vaz. The public areas for exhibitions and presentations — with an auditorium, a library and shop represent 36% of the total space; conservation and maintenance, 38%; and management and internal production,10%. Common areas correspond to 16% of its surface.
Moving to the Quarteirão Real Vinícola will give CASA DA ARQUITECTURA the physical and technical conditions necessary to carry out its proposed mission.
Together with other national and international entities, CASA DA ARQUITECTURA will be able to establish a wide network of architecture archives, fostering the exchange of experiences, collections, working methods and specialized technicians. It will also be in a privileged position to assume the responsibility of showing the public the work developed by this network, since most of the archives currently in operation in Portugal do not have their own exhibition area.
The public needs to be welcomed in a warm and appealing space provided with desirable amenities. At the Real Vinícola, CASA DA ARQUITECTURA will find a space to suit its ambitions and the ambitions of its audience — an open and inclusive space, aimed at welcoming everyone interested in the subject of architecture.
Looking at the bigger picture, CASA DA ARQUITECTURA and the Quarteirão Real Vinícola are integrated in an area under urban regeneration and transformation, for which other cultural and social facilities are projected — joining an important axis of revitalization, urbanistic and physically articulated with the “Broadway of Matosinhos”. The synergy thus created and installed in said urban axis contributes to its own economic, physical and touristic sustainability.