Colégio Infante

In a remarkable place in the Madeira region, underneath Nossa Senhora do Monte Sanctuary from where the famous toboggan baskets depart to the center of Funchal, the Colégio Infante Dom Henrique opened in 1958, on the building of the old Grande Hotel Belmonte, built in 1926. The school complex project of 12.500 sqm include 7 buildings: 3 to renovate and 4 new buildings, faces up to the Atlantic Ocean on the south slop of Madeira island, at 540 m high. The program for 570 students is organised around 2 plateaux with redefined levels in an effort to interconnect, on a common ground, both the existing buildings and the new ones. A necessary separation by school years is thus created and the playgrounds amplified in a horizontal surface. The new buildings take over the role of connectors between the levels, creating new accesses and new social gathering spaces in sloped areas such as the Amphitheatre.The new buildings, transparent, open themselves up to the top of the trees and the ocean views. The connections between spaces are established in different levels and also throughout the exterior of the buildings, in a spacial continuum, taking in full advantage the temperate climate of the island. The exterior is a lush green park of exotic regional species on to which the buildings open themselves to. The design of the Sports Pavilion enabled the creation of a new underground parking freeing the school grounds of parked cars. At the same time, by aligning the height of the Pavilion with the street level up the hill, it allowed for a new belvedere on top of itself. The new rooftop, with a ticket office and an exhibition space for the famous downhill cars, becomes a stoping point for tourists before the ride downhill until the city of Funchal.


Location: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal | Client: Província Portuguesa Dehonianos | Interior area: 9.171 m2; Exterior area: 8.625m2 | 205 spaces | Architecture: João Carmo Simões; Colaboration: Daniela Sá, Maria Prates, Joana Orêncio | Landscape Architecture: Joāo Gomes da Silva | Global arquitectura paisagista | Engineering: ADF - Engenheiros Consultores | Structures: António Adão da Fonseca | Climatization HVAC + Thermal Envelope + Natural Ventilation : Eng. Raul Bessa (GET) | Imagens: AIVA images Pedro Saraiva with João Carmo Simões

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