What is now known as the Soares dos Reis Artistic Secondary School was established in January 1884 under the name Faria de Guimarães do Bonfim Industrial Design School.
It began operating in 1885 in a former, highly precarious residential building in Campo 24 de Agosto. From 1917 to 1927 it occupied the old premises of the Alexandre Herculano school in Rua de Santo Ildefonso. In 1927 it moved to the former premises of a hat factory at Rua da Firmeza, 49, where it remained for eight decades.
Soares dos Reis is a secondary school specialising in the visual arts. The knowledge and learning of the students are oriented by a team of teachers with specific training and preparation in the arts and by teachers of special techniques in the diverse technological areas that make up the school’s curricular offer.
The modernisation project for the Soares dos Reis Artistic School consisted of an intervention resulting from the transfer of the school to the premises of the former Oliveira Martins Secondary School in the parish of Bonfim in the east of Porto. The building, designed in 1966 for the JCETS-MOPS by the architect António José Pedroso, was organised in two independent bodies – a main body with classrooms and administrative offices and a second body with the canteen and gymnasium/assembly hall that were linked by an external covered walkway that also served as a complementary recreational area to the outside spaces.
The intervention included conversion of the existing building, partial demolition work and an extension to the building. The design project, by Carlos Prata, was based on the programmatic definitions defined by the Soares dos Reis school, expressing the functional links between the various spaces adapted to the pedagogic aims and the dimensioning of the corresponding spaces.
Given the distance that was to be maintained between the existing volumes (classrooms and gym/canteen), the option was taken to build two new volumes linked by a circulation route that forms the connection between all the volumes in the built complex. This route, which functions as an internal street, makes it is possible to open up some spaces to the general public outside normal school hours, such as the multipurpose hall, canteen, sports infrastructures and library.
The main entrance was also subject to intervention. It now consists of a new volume that finishes off the existing body and defines a covered outside entrance area.
One hundred and twenty-four years after its establishment, the hope is now reborn that the Soares dos Reis school will respond to the needs the future will bring in a building converted with the school itself, its courses and its will to grow in mind.
ESCOLA ARTÍSTICA SOARES DOS REIS
E-mail: Site: http://www.essr.net/
Address: Rua Major David Magno, 65
Zip Code: 4000-191 Porto
GPS: 41.15846697879718, -8.595396280288696