Combatentes Educational Center

Location: Ovar, Portugal
Date: 2008-2012
Awards: 1º Prize for the Project of Combatentes Educational Center Competition at Ovar, attribution by the Jury Selection Board

Client: Ovar City Hall

Implantation area 2.440,97 m2
Built area 5.271 m2
Cost 3.375.000,00€

Fátima Fernandes and Michele Cannatà

Riccardo Cannatà
Dario Cannatà
Bruno Silva
Marta Lemos
Nuno Castro
Francisco Meireles
João Pedro Martins

Structural Engeneering
Gop – João Maria Sobreira

Gop – Raquel Fernandes

Mechanical Engeneering
Get – Raul Bessa

Electric Engeneering
Gpic – Alexandre Martins

Inacoustics – Octávio Inácio

Atelier Beco da Belavista – Luís Guedes de Carvalho

Photographic credits
Luis Ferreira Alves
Dario Cannatà

Dario Cannatà

João Cabral Gonçalves & Filhos, Lda.


The project, while maintaining the relations of the preexisting building with the street, adds a new building, formally characterized by its curvilinear geometry which is able to create conditions for the development of the school program while rebalancing all the terrain lines and angles. The different functions are articulated in two buildings (old and new), characterized by the different architectural objectives (rehabilitation and new construction) and the different school program requirements to receive children from the age of three to ten years old.

On the preexisting building, the project recovers the interior court and all the elements that characterize the four facades. The interior spaces are rehabilitated, depending on the functional requirements that the building has to meet, ensuring the balance with their specific architectural character. The functions related to public use were installed in this building, ensuring a smooth relationship between the school and the community – office, meeting room of the parent’s association, staff room, office and service areas, library, computer room, curriculum enrichment / music and related services.

The new building contains the classrooms, gymnasium, kindergarten, canteen, kitchen and related services and multipurpose rooms. This is characterized in the Southwest by a facade comprising a blade system which controls the light and heat, while producing a variation in the building associated with games, creativity and rigor. The Northeast is characterized by a curved facade made of concrete, isolated and covered with tiles. The use of tiles creates a waterproof barrier and establishes a relationship of continuity with an ancient technique well dominated by the constructive culture of Ovar.
To ensure continuity of the spaces two covered passages were planned between the buildings in both levels.