Bernardo Rodrigues Architects creates concrete Sculptor Studio in Portugal

Portuguese practice Bernardo Rodrigues Architects has completed a studio for a sculptor in the Azores, creating a curving poured-concrete form that references the work of its client.

Named Sculptor Studio, it is intended to appear as though it “sprouts” from the kitchen of an existing dwelling on a farm on Sāo Miguel island.

Inside, Bernardo Rodrigues Architects has provided the sculptor with studio and workshop spaces that overlook the garden through projecting hexagonal windows.

Aerial view of Sculptor Studio by Bernardo Rodrigues ArchitectureAerial view of Sculptor Studio by Bernardo Rodrigues Architecture
Bernardo Rodrigues Architects has created Sculptor Studio in Portugal

Bernardo Rodrigues Architects drew on the forms of the client’s clay sculptures for the materiality of the building, deliberately leaving the layers of each day-long concrete pour visible on both the internal and external walls to create a textured, streaked surface.

“Concrete is the most similar to the clay sculptures the client makes and easy to mould in curves that adapted best to the site relation, the studio’s founder Bernardo Rodrigues told Dezeen.

“Also, the method of a day-long pouring of concrete into a wooden frame is common on [Sāo Miguel] island, and paradoxically was the simplest possible to execute even with the difficult road access,” he continued.

Farmhouse with concrete outbuildingFarmhouse with concrete outbuilding
It has a curving poured-concrete form

Sculptor Studio is accessed through two doors where it meets the existing house. On the south side of the building is a singular, large space that contains a workshop area for students and opens onto a patio.

A quieter workspace for the sculptor sits to the north, alongside a small bathroom. With no internal divisions, a range of atmospheric lighting conditions have been created to differentiate the areas of the studio.

Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico CityPedro Reyes studio in Mexico City Pedro Reyes designs his own brutalist studio in Mexico City

A curved skylight illuminates the student workshop space to the south, while an arrowslit-style “sunset window” to the west draws light into a storage area.

To the north, the large hexagonal-framed windows provide even light to two desks positioned overlooking the garden.

Hexagonal glazing of garden building by Bernardo Rodrigues ArchitectureHexagonal glazing of garden building by Bernardo Rodrigues Architecture
There are large hexagonal-framed windows

“The window openings work in a complement game,” explained Rodrigues.

“It makes the studio a camera obscura, light clock, or photographic skull chamber of sorts,” he continued.

Concrete interior of Sculptor Studio by Bernardo Rodrigues ArchitectureConcrete interior of Sculptor Studio by Bernardo Rodrigues Architecture
The concrete is left exposed inside

The concrete structure was created using a timber frame, into which the concrete was hand-poured by a team of three.

Inside, the poured concrete has also been left exposed on the walls and ceiling, with a grey gloss floor and wooden pendant lights completing the minimalist feel.

Bernardo Rodrigues Architects is based in Porto and the Azores. Other projects by the studio in the Azores include the Chapel of Eternal Light and House on the Flight of Birds.

The photography is by Paulo Goulart.

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