Library and Municipal Archives of Grândola

© Carol Kohen – concept idea (G spot)


Parallel to the competition’s program brief (a building) we attach to it a stimulation of social life which we could call Grândola Spot, a public amphitheatre.
As a consequence, parallel to gaining a new public building (Library and Public Archives), from the ability of absorbing a number of events and animations, couldn’t the city win another extra public space?

Our proposal for the (new) Praça da República square reinforces all its potential as a generator space for social engagement.
Its design, purposely minimal, contrasts with the more design constrained squares to the north and west. At the same time, in opposite to the other two squares we do not intend to keep Praça da República with the dense trees it has at the moment, since on one hand there are already two squares with those characteristics and, on the other, in search for shadows, we encourage the use of the open public space on the ground floor of the Library, which can be an extension of the ground floor interior program. This allows for the establishment of an urban continuum, a way to maximize the use of the public spaces.

Similarly to the power of attraction of the Grândola Spot, we propose a building with a contemporary appearance, also capable of generating a great attraction towards the public.
By its shape, the proposed building intends to embrace with its concave front façades. The other two façades follow the existing alignments. The arcs (in the openings), are a reference from the architectural memories of the place and the region; structurally they allow for a continuous space without columns on the ground level; also they allow for the passage of all the technical conduits.

In order to generate a single, continuous and minimal shape, the proposed building contemplates a system of vertical pre-fabricated concrete stripes. This way it is possible to filter the looks from the inside and the outside. At the same time, this materiality is applied to the interior of the building, not only in terms of color, but also in its texture. All the ground floor, exterior and interior, is all finished in the same local stone.

Project: Library and Municipal Archives of Grândola
Location: Grândola, Portugal
Date: 2011-2012 (Competition)
Client: Município de Grândola, Portugal
Architecture: Cláudio Vilarinho
Collaborators: João Pereira de Sousa, Nieves Valle
Engineering: JCT – Consultores de Engenharia, Lda
3ds: VÖSA studio


Location plan


Urban context – Shape


Urban continuum


Expansion of the interior ground floor surface towards the exterior


Program scheme


Floor plans


Isometric plan






Model – Northwest view


Model – Southeast view


Model – Southwest view


Southwest view


View from Praça da República (circus – Grândola spot)

View from the sheltered public space (possible expansion of the interior space)


View from the foyer


View from the library (adult’s section)


View from the terrace (children’s section)


Night view