Urban Planning

The first stage of works of Matadouro de Campanhã is complete

  • Porto.

  • Article


The first stage of works of Matadouro de Campanhã is complete. The construction work, conducted by the company Mota Engil, included the cleaning of the area, demolitions, earthmoving, and the drilling of existing structures, in addition to experimenting materials to be used in the reconstruction of the building. The Japanese architect Kengo Kuma visited this iconic project, carried out in partnership with the award-winning Portuguese architects of OODA, an office inspired by Porto's famous school of architecture. Both developed the concept that will be implemented in the Matadouro.

The reconversion and operation of the Antigo Matadouro Industrial do Porto, which is given to the company Mota Engil, aims to transform the building, that was deactivated 20 years ago, into one of the main protagonists in the rehabilitation of the eastern part of the city, based on the fundaments of social cohesion, economy, and culture.

“It was the first time that the architect Kengo Kuma visited the Matadouro after the works had started [this Sunday]. It was a technical visit to assess the state of the work, which also served to choose, in some cases, the final finishing materials and the colours to be used. The constructer made a set of prototypes and there were some decisions made today, regarding the final touches of some spaces of the future Matadouro", said the city councilman of Urbanism and Public Space, Pedro Baganha.

An opinion also shared by the CEO of Emerge-Mota Engil, Vítor Pinho: "He was very impressed. He already knew the space and enjoyed seeing the work done. He is confident that it will be a new milestone in the city of Porto”.

Born in Yokohama, graduated from the Tokyo school of architecture, Kengo Kuma is the author of other works of great importance to global architecture, such as the Suntory Museum of Art in the Japanese capital, the Bamboo Wall House in China, the headquarters of the Louis Vuitton Group in Japan, the Besançon Art Center in France, and particularly the new Tokyo National Stadium, which hosted the opening ceremony of the 2021 Olympic Games.

Rehabilitation and construction of new buildings

The reconversion process began in early May 2021, when Mota-Engil's excavating machines entered the old industrial complex and focused their works on demolishing the elements in advanced state of deterioration.

It represents an investment of around 40 million euros, fully financed by Mota Engil, a northern private company that won the public tender launched by Porto City Hall. When the 30 years of the concession end, the building returns to the municipal sector. The signing ceremony of the consignment agreement of the old Matadouro took place in October 2021, in the Matadouro itself. Rui Moreira and Carlos Mota Santos, representing the Municipality of Porto and Mota Engil, respectively, signed the contract in the presence of the Prime Minister, António Costa.

The intervention programme covers the complete conversion of the complex, maintaining its historical memory and architectural nature, in diversified and multipurpose business spaces, commercial and leisure areas of local support, spaces for social action and connection with the local community and areas of cultural and artistic nature, intended for exhibition, production and storing of art collections.

“We will start with the rehabilitation phase of all existing buildings and the construction of new ones. This stage will take about two years, and it is expected that, in October 2024, the new Matadouro will already be available for everyone, "said the CEO of Emerge-Mota Engil.

In addition to the reconversion, it is also planned to create an internal public access that allows the circulation between the existing entry in Rua de São Roque da Lameira and another direct access to Metro do Dragão station, crossing the interior of the main building, rising through a new high-rise building at the northern end of the complex, and crossing the VCI through a new upper passage. This access should allow the movement of pedestrians and bicycles. The car park adjacent to the Metro station will also support the new Matadouro, bringing it closer to the city’s main roads and railways.

A new centrality in the city

The project has a large coverage that, at the same time, unites the old, which will be preserved, and the new building, as well as the passage over the VCI, in a new centrality in the city. It will have 11 independent buildings, well illuminated. The connection between the interior and exterior spaces of the offices will be made through the garden area. There will be the possibility to customise the interior of each building and to expand the company according to its needs.

At this point, Mota-Engil has begun the commercialisation stage of the areas and business proposals have already been made.

Of the 20,000 square meters available for construction, 7,885 square meters will be under municipal management, the remainder being exploited by the winning entity of the contest. It will be a sustainable building, with the installation of solar panels on the roof.

The building complex will have sustainable behaviour and LEED certification. Highlighting the approximately 2500 square meters of solar panels located on the roof for power generation, as well as the use of efficient thermal, energy and water systems.

In addition to these, the future Matadouro will have a permanent cultural programme, to be developed by Porto City Hall, with the possibility of creating synergies between different uses (workspaces/restoration/cultural/social program/events).