- Gonçalo Byrne
Estoril sol residence complex
The new residential complex on the Avenida Marginal in Cascais changes the character of the entrance to the town not only architecturally but also in terms of urban development. In spite of its large scale and striking outline in the urban landscape, the powerful relationship that the construction sets up with the surrounding area is one of the project’s strong points.
Cascais is a seaside town some 30 kilometres south of the capital, Lisbon. Its main avenue, and the first for those arriving from the north, is the Avenida Marginal, which runs along the waterfront. One of the most interesting – from an architectural and planning point of view – largescale building complexes built in Portugal in recent years has been built at this point of entry to the town. This new complex is located on the site of the former Hotel Estoril Sol, a 1950s building, of some 20 stories which was demolished as a result of an allocation plan aimed at completely restructuring this key area of the town. The removal of this building left a dramatic scar in the landscape, revealing the fragility of the slope at the back of the former hotel. The difference in elevation between the platform of its implementation and the slopes of the Ribeira da Castelhana Valley, the gateway to Parque Palmela Park, is nearly 30 metres, a difference that was revealed as a radical gash in the topography by the absence of the building. In this context two major objectives were set for the project: on the one hand, reconciling the divsion between the sea/lower level and the park/ higher level by expanding the existing park along the reconverted slope; and on the other, creating a luxury residential building that would make the most of the excellent location.
The new complex is based on the idea of three regular square plan buildings. It was important to establish this idea so as to create a clear definition at ground level of which spaces are public and which are the private premises of the new complex. It also made it possible to carry out a more specific study of the new relationship between the Avenida Marginal and the green backdrop of the park and the hill. As the complex grows in height, it takes greater freedom in terms of volume, pushing out towards the most distinctive topographical directions: the Castelhana Valley and the coastline. Covering a total area of 30,000 m² – which is 32% smaller than the area of the former hotel – the new buildings are the equivalent of 14 storeys high from the level established for the garden and leisure area an intermediate level between Avenida Marginal and the park. This complex contains 110 apartments of various sizes from one to five bedrooms, some of them duplex.
The building’s image is designed to make a strong, self-referential statement. Given its privileged location, it was decided to create a reticulated structure that would allow generous glazed areas to be opened up. And this is where Reynaers’ experience was crucial for the development of the project. Thanks to close collaboration with the design team and with the fabricator, it was possible to achieve a solution that would satisfy the conditions required for what was intended to be a luxury building.
All the door and window frames selected are based on the top-of-the-range CP 155 slidingsystem. It did, however, have to be modified and redesigned in order to comply with two of the project’s fundamental goals: on the one hand the need to comply to the letter with the exacting technical performances required by the specifications – especially in relation to air permeability, wind resistance, water tightness, cycles of operation and heat transfer – and on the other, the need to incorporate in the window frames the planned glass balustrades, since the windows should open in full floor-to-ceiling height and it was necessary to guarantee total safety for users. In total, ten standard profiles and various accessories, fittings and seals were designed on the basis of the standard CP 155 model. In the majority of cases the basis was the lift and slide version, including motorized modules, but it was also used for fixed and corner elements. The CS 77 system was also used on some doors opening to the outside using the high-performance frame system. Estoril Sol Residence is one of the first constructions in Portugal to achieve full CE marking for its door and window frames, which is testimony to the high quality of the project and its significance for the Portuguese architectural and construction panorama.
- Gonçalo Byrne
- Edimetal SA
- FG + SG Architectural Photography
- Consórcio Edifer (General contractor)