Porto-based architecture practice DepA has completed a mirrored pavilion set on the grounds of a cultural institution designed by Pritzker-winning architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is the most visited museum in Portugal. The property also includes an art deco villa and a vast 18-hectare park complete with a lake, where this ethereal pavilion designed for short film screening is set.

Dubbed ‘Liquid Pavilion’, the design seeks to establish an indirect relationship with Álvaro Siza’s museum building, originally opened in the late 1990s. The floor plan takes on the basic shape of the museum itself, becoming a “polygon extracted from the museum’s layout,” according to the architects. The pavilion also corresponds to one of the museum’s characteristic spaces — “the bow window, whose classic hexagonal matrix is repeated and emerges at various times throughout the park.”

“The extracted polygon, once implanted in the park and with its original context altered, including the transformation of its shape and materiality, becomes something new and detaches itself from its original source,” said the architects.

Internally, Liquid Pavilion is filled with colour and light, while externally the mirrors enable the structure to seamlessly camouflage itself within its setting, inviting visitors to commune with the environment. Conceived as a bridge between the setting and the art it contains, the interior remains sufficiently neutral, allowing visitors to discover and enjoy the video projected inside.


The Serralves Foundation is located at R. Dom João de Castro 210, 4150-417 Porto, Portugal.


Related: Stories On Design // Mesmerising Mirrors in Art & Architecture.


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[Images courtesy of DepA. Photography © Jose Campos.]


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