International Architecture Awards 2019 recognise the excellence of Porto Botanical Garden rehabilitation

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Miguel Nogueira

The rehabilitation project included the changeover of the Casa Andresen into a Biodiversity Gallery.
The renovation project of the Botanical Garden of Porto - Natural History Museum and the Science of the University of Porto (MHNC-UP) was one of the winners in the category "Parks and Gardens" of the International Architecture Awards 2019, the largest and oldest annual public celebration of architecture at global level. 

The changeover was supervised by Nuno Valentim, architect and professor of the faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. Valentim and his team (Frederico Eça, Maria Ana S. Coutinho, and Margarida Carvalho) started working on this project in 2010, which was concluded in 2017, on the occasion of the opening of the Biodiversity Gallery - Centre for Living Science at the Casa Andresen.

Also included in the restoration project was the upgrading of the Casa Salabert to host the E-learning Café - Botanical, which opened in 2015, as well as the restauration of the greenhouses, which were designed by Franz Koepp during the 60s of the twentieth century.

In total, the changeover meant that a gross construction area of 4 800 sqm was rehabilitated together with a garden area of about 48 500 sqm.

"Being granted this award to this set of works is, of course, very gratifying as it acknowledges the joint effort of a team, personnel and designers, who were involved in the several projects", enthuses Nuno Valentim.

The Professor of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP) also praises "the commitment of Nuno Ferrand de Almeida, MHNC-UP Director, as well as the engagement of Paulo Farinha Marques, the current Director of the Porto Botanical Garden, who was also involved in the open-spaces rehabilitation as a designer".

It is worth mentioning that the rehabilitation project of Porto Botanical garden had already been nominated for the prestigious European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award 2019. Also, the renovation of the Casa Salabert, was granted an honourable mention in the João de Almada 2017 Award and won the National Award for National Regeneration 2016.

The International Architecture Awards 2019 prize-giving ceremony will be held in Athens, on 13 September, Greece, and the winning projects will be listed in a catalogue, titled "Global Design + Urbanism XIX, New International Architecture", edited by Christian Narkiewicz-Laine and published by Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd.