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Coimbra. Portugal.

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Renovation of the Trinity College - European College.


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The renovation works on Trinity College, an institution that forms part of the so-called “University of the Holy Trinity”, took as their pre-existing reference a series of buildings in a serious state of dereliction that formed part of the University of Coimbra, in Portugal, which is known as the “city of students” and whose origins date back to the 13th century.

The project was undertaken according to a strategy based on a “compressed” vision of the time that has passed, preserving the value of the “eternal” and permanent heritage, such as the great domes and walls, and replacing the “ephemeral” components of the old structures with a new structural steel system, separated and flooded in light, that suggest a new contemporaneity.

One of the most characteristic architectural elements in the ensemble was its main entrance, which was built in the year 1630. This entrance, which was retained during the renovation works, is framed by two pairs of Doric columns standing on pedestals and crowned with a symbolic cross.

The symbolic cross pattée –whose arms become narrower as they approach the centre and widen in their ends—is present in the building as a reference to “freemasonry” from the time of the Order of the Knights Templar and later used by the Teutonic Knights.

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Localización Location: Coimbra. Portugal. Autores Authors: Manuel Aires Mateus, Francisco Aires Mateus, arquitectos. Coordinación del proyecto Project leader: Susana Rodrigues. Colaboradores Collaborators: Valentino Capelo Sousa, Patrícia Marques, Mariana Barbosa Mateus, Joana Carmo Simões, Vânia Fernandes, Olga Sanina, Sara Nobre. Cliente Client: Universidade de Coimbra. Constructora General Contractor: Veiga Lopes S.A. Superficie parcela Site area: 2.300m². Superficie construida Built area: 4.093m². Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2016. Fotografía Photography: Nelson Garrido.
Francisco Aires Mateus
1070–037 Lisboa, Portugal
Manuel Aires Mateus

Nelson Garrido