Kengo Kuma and OODA to transform Porto slaughterhouse into cultural centre topped by vast, sweeping roof

Kengo Kuma and Associates, in collaboration with OODA, have won a competition to redevelop an abandoned industrial slaughterhouse in Porto into a public complex featuring a museum, library and performance spaces.

The Matadouro building was once an important urban landmark. However, it was closed and abandoned almost 20 years ago and has gradually become disconnected from the city as new buildings – including a speedway and a stadium for FC Porto – have sprung up.

The new 20,500sq m (220,600sq ft) project aims to reconnect the site to the city by creating bridges, plazas and a public garden walkway. A huge ceramic and glass roof will stretch across the entire site to unite the new and existing elements.

“We are interested in creating a building rooted in local history and memory and to develop a sensory translation of the public space that will belong to everyone while each visitor feels as though the space is their own,” said the designers in a joint statement.

The reddish hue of the roof will reference the surrounding architecture of traditional houses. The vast covering will also serve to protect and shade Matadouro from the elements, with gaps in place to let the wind pass through and light shine in “like a glowing lantern.”

Kengo Kuma Associates are currently working on a number of museums around the world, including a fairytale-themed museum dedicated to the life and work of author Hans Christian Andersen in Odense, a contemporary art museum in Turkey, the V&A Dundee design museum in Scotland, a the Museum of Indigenous Knowledge in the Philippines, and a bucolic art museum in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city.

Kengo Kuma  OODA  Porto  Matadouro  
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Kengo Kuma and OODA to transform Porto slaughterhouse into cultural centre topped by vast, sweeping roof
Kengo Kuma and Associates, in collaboration with OODA, have won a competition to redevelop an abandoned industrial slaughterhouse in Porto into a public complex featuring a museum, library and performance spaces.