Eduardo Souto de Moura (°Porto, 25 July 1952), is a Portuguese architect, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2011. Souto de Moura studied sculpture before switching to architecture at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. From 1974 to 1979 he worked with Álvaro Siza at his architectural practice.
In 1981, Eduardo Souto de Moura won one of his first major commissions as the laureate of an architecture competition with the Centro Cultural Casa das Artes in Porto. After Casa das Artes, the projects followed one another. Houses were alternated with large-scale projects such as the Casa do Cinema Manoel de Oliveira (2003, Porto) or the Braga stadium (2003).
I would like to focus on the recently completed Beurs-, Meeting- en Congrescentrum (BMCC) in Bruges, a project he designed in collaboration with META architectuurbureau
The new Exhibition, Meeting and Congress Centre is pure and monumental, but – despite its scale – fits seamlessly into its surroundings.
The transparent base, combined with a massive crown of reddish-brown brick, houses an exhibition hall, auditorium, meeting facilities, catering areas and underground bicycle and car parking, accounting for 15.000 m2 of usable floor space.
You enter the congress building through the spacious entrance hall, which leads directly into the more than 4,000 m² exhibition hall. The ceiling, which is up to 9.5 m high, rests on just six columns. Column-free spans of 25 to 30 m were realized with the aid of steel structures. The integration is a monumental, yet modest and functional building, which fits into the grain of the city and, with the same floor space as its predecessor, succeeds in giving (back) more and better quality meeting space to residents and passers-by.
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.