At Avenida 31 de Janeiro - Braga, we embraced a building refurbishment project from the early 20th century. Passionate about its architectural details, we have chosen this place to be the future headquarters of Castro Group.
As this is a property with an undeniable value, the principles set out in the documents, letters and conventions that regulate and guide interventions in cultural heritage have always been present. Values such as authenticity, integrity and reversibility have been observed both at the project level and during the works; therefore, the choice has been to benefit the inherent character of existing, looking for an adequate articulation between new and existing. This is an admittedly contemporary architectural intervention that simultaneously preserves the authenticity and the "spirit of the place".
The primary objective of the refurbishment has been to retain the ensemble's image and preserve the existing, using homogeneous materials and colours, ensuring a conceptual and formal balance. During the works, conservation techniques have been used to ensure the preservation and maintenance of the elements of architectural interest. In the main building, all decorative elements have been fully retained. The restoration of existing carpentry and metalworks, plastering and gilding, timber framework and stairs have been decisive for preserving the overall image inherent to the existing. The new volume, adjacent to the main building, which contains support spaces, has been entirely built with exposed concrete to facilitate integration into the ensemble.
This building's refurbishment bears witness to the importance of preserving our built heritage as a strategy for a more sustainable urban development. Its prime location within the urban fabric promotes less polluting public transport. Also, the occupation of existing sites minimises undeveloped areas, thereby protecting natural resources.
Giving new life to architectural heritage represents a significant milestone for the city. Preserving the past, building the future.