ÁGUEDA – Portuguese architect Carlos Castanheira was keen to take up the project for the offices of the Revigrés factory. What he didn’t realise was that the Portuguese manufacturer of flooring and coating tiles wanted its office space inside (not next to) the production area. ‘The first visit to the location surprised me because of their wanting to build a structure inside the existing one,’ Castanheira explains. ‘I was glad for the challenge, which is what excites architecture.’

Costume-made containers, sized according to their function, were stacked and given glazed openings that overlook the production line. The architect’s design solution was inspired by the sight of a large box on site. Building the office space as ‘nothing more than large boxes, in which people will work’ resulted in a construction that easily relates to and blends with the factory.

One of the main requirements of the programme and one that also inspired the design concept was that of sustainability. Wooden structural elements, chipboard panels and expanded cork acoustic and thermal insulation assure a large part of the materials that constitute the structure can be recycled. ‘In a tomorrow that is, hopefully, still distant the containers can be transformed into other containers or boxes in a logic of sustainability which the human mind will always be able to reinvent,’ the architect says.

Photos courtesy of FG+SG