Ponte de Sor is a pleasant town, home to a vast county, located in the extensive Alentejo region, right at the junction with the former Ribatejana region, is characterized by the Sor riverbanks – large farming fields that surround the city.
Ponte de Sor has several points of interest, such as its Matriz (17th century) and Misericórdia churches, Chapels of the Calvary, the Chapels of São Pedro and Santo António (17th century), São Sebastião or the Senhor das Almas, or even other monuments such as the Bridge over the river of Sor.
It’s also worth to visit the Megalithic nucleus of Montargil or the Necropolis of Santo André, the mills of Tramaga, or even appreciate the calm of the riverside area of Sor. The surrounding nature is generous, standing out the great Montargil Dam which attracts numerous visitors because of its good conditions for practicing the most diverse activities, as well as the existence of good tourist facilities.
Ponte de Sor is proud of its traditional handicrafts, namely in pieces of decorative marble, wicker basketry, cork coming from the important cork industry of the abundant cork oak forests of the region, as well as various woodwork.
The Portuguese architect Nuno Piedade Alexandre just added one more reason to visit this little, but lovely town: a black extension to an elderly care centre in the municipality of Ponte de Sor, which is covered with protruding windows – a masterpiece of architecture, if we may say it.
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The architect based in Santarém created the building as additional accommodation for the Santa Casa da Misericórdia’s Elderly Care Centre in the Portalegre district. The extension is positioned in a prominent place when viewed from the adjacent street. It fills the maximum available space on the plot in order to optimise the internal floor area.
Each of the bedrooms features an opening that extends out from the facade. The glazing breaks up the black slatted surfaces and lends the building a dynamic, heterogeneous appearance.
“The volume dematerialises itself through the projection of the rooms outwards, distorting the main facade in the search for a special sculptural moment that can speak for itself and be kind of singular, in the way that every patient should be”, he explained.
The accommodation is designed around the needs of its users, with a focus on the quality of light and interesting spaces created by the angular surfaces.
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Ten twin rooms and four individual rooms have been added to the centre, each with their own private bathroom facilities. The new addition occupies an area to the rear of the main building and is arranged so that some of the existing circulation areas extend seamlessly between the two.
The rooms have a ceiling height of 2.7 metres and culminate in openings that reach 3.5 or 4.5 metres in height, which helps to funnel additional daylight into the spaces. Each of the windows is angled to create a different relationship with the surrounding streetscape and frames a specific view of nearby trees, the skyline or the River Sor, which flows close by the site.
“The project results from a functional programme, a concept of living experience and use, and the relation of the building with the surrounding urban grid”.
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