After Porto was selected one of the 2 cultural capitals of Europe in 2001, an international competition started, for a new concert hall to be positioned in the historical centre.
The shape directly derived from 'programmatic-piling-up'. Two shoe-box concert halls were piled first, the other public programs were added onto the shoe-boxes and the 'remaining' spaces between the public functions were filled up with secondary serving spaces, such as foyers, restaurant, terraces, technical spaces and vertical transport. A continuous route connects all functions and 'remaining spaces' by stairs, platforms and escalators: the building becomes an architectural adventure. The loop creates the possibility to use it for festivals with simultaneous performances. Wave-like corrugated glass is used in both the 1300 seat grand auditorium and its smaller 350 seat counterpart. Through material transparency each space reveals its contents to the city; showing an array of performances and cultural events.