The Urbo Business Center designed by Nuno Capa Arquitecto has been recently completed in the Portuguese city of Matosinhos. The new 25,600sqm/275,556sqft office building is a single volume, with detached implantation of rectangular geometry comprising eight floors: six above ground for offices and two basement levels for car parking, except an area on the first level facing the street (west side), which is occupied by service providers.
The sidewalks, wider on the north and south, create a double entrance in opposite facades, establishing an inner crossing line and a seamless merging of both entrances in the core of the building: the foyer. This foyer reaching 24m/79ft height, reinforced by a wide skylight, produces visual relationships across the floors, the workspaces, and the circulation areas, enhancing the closeness and collaboration between the users and the occupants. It also sets the spatial and functional organization of the building: two vertical access cores – stairs and group of elevators – taking to the lower and upper floors.
The upper floors arranged around the foyer, are serviced by two opposite nerve centers evenly enveloped by the exterior and interior facades. These nerve centers take to the building’s top floor where two smaller volumes conceal mechanical equipment.
The building’s architectonic solution is based on a flexible office spatial program to host one or manifold occupants; on a constructive program embracing the most recent and best sustainability practices during the design, construction phases and life span of the building. The exterior skin is a building envelope system – curtain walls composed of extruded aluminum frames infilled with glass and opaque aluminum composite elements.
The façade, which resembles a city map at a brief glance, is the most striking visual element of the architectural design. Enhanced by the composition of the night lighting, the arrangement of the rhythmic elements discloses melodic interpretations.