Health Museum, Oporto - PMA
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Health Museum, Oporto

National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge


Preliminary Study for the future Health Museum to be located in the former Hospital of Santa Clara, where the delegation of the National Health Institute Doctor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) in Oporto was operating and currently is unoccupied.
These facilities are located on the right side of Douro river, near the bridge D. Luís I, in the city of Oporto. The place enjoys a privileged position, about 50m above the surface of the water, and developing southwards | North.
With about 6000m2 of which 5000m2 in outdoor area, this space presents itself with its well-defined boundaries, either by the urban network characteristic of this area or by two fundamental aspects that shape the character and silhouette, the D. Luís I Bridge and the Fernandina Wall. This last one marked by the deep patrimonial and symbolic value.
Among the existing buildings stands out the main building which now houses the museum itself with the main exhibition areas. On the first floor the reception and the museum shop, a complementary multipurpose room, a room of reserve of the collection, a multimedia room dedicated to young people and children and a cafeteria in the south top enjoying all its front, next to the fountain, for an esplanade with privileged view. In the second and third floors there is a permanent exhibition circuit in the spaces adjacent to the main façade, as well as the “connecting” rooms to the virtual museum in the spaces with the least sun exposure. It is intended that the exhibition space be a space with the greatest polyvalence possible so that its use can be flexible and varied. All floors are served by a new core of stairs and elevator as well as by the existing staircase core. Also the elevator and attached stairs will give access to the wall.
The Conference Center consists of an auditorium with approximately 200 seats and four attachable meeting spaces with a total of 100m² of floor space, served by a foyer of generous dimensions, also a space available for holding exhibitions or other events.
Due to its composition (of three independent floors) the D. Maria building is occupied in three distinct ways, the upper floor dedicated to the administrative services of the museum distributed in a wide “open space”, the middle floor only dedicated to the reserve of the collection, and the lower floor, which in the independent zone will be dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of the museum collection and in the area adjacent to the new foyer of the conference center, acquires several facilities such as toilets at the north top and the facilities of the documentation center at the top south.
The Aloísio Coelho building, which is made up of a single space independent from the rest of the premises, will have a great functional versatility, allowing events such as temporary exhibitions and other cultural and recreational activities linked to the museum’s activities, needed.
The restaurant is located in the new building, on the higher levels, with the dining room on the upper level, enjoying the best view and connection to the fountain level, and the kitchen and services on the floor immediately below.
This equipment may operate completely independent of the museum’s other facilities and conference center, however its location allows a direct connection if it is convenient. The service accesses will be from the parking lot, with a circuit independent from the users, which can be done by the surface through the pedestrian paths or through the parking lot without having to enter the space of the museum itself.
The main objective of the external arrangement will be to value the existing building, revitalizing the outer spaces that now relate in a promiscuous way and without apparent function.
Starting from the premise of valorization, the posture is as far as possible to remove the traffic from the interior of the spaces delimited by the various structures, giving the user the opportunity to enjoy the space in a more intimate and relaxed perspective, in keeping with the new functions, which are now attributed to all buildings.
In this way, four intervention areas can be defined, with different characters and typologies: An Entry | Churchyard of the Santa Clara Church; The Largo da Fonte next to the main building; The Plaza das Amendoeiras, shaped by the D. Maria building, by the old warehouse, by the parish space and by the new building that is now recommended; finally The Orchard of Laranjeiras.


National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge


Largo 1º de Dezembro – Oporto


Main Program – 2009


Preliminary Study for the future Health Museum to be located in the former Hospital of Santa Clara, where the delegation of the National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) in Oporto was operating and currently is unoccupied.



– João Cottinelli Telmo Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– Manuel Cottinelli Telmo Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– António Pedro Batista Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– Sónia Machado Mendes – Architect

– Pedro Cunha – Architect

– Maria Russo – Architect


– Pedro Batalha – Landscape architect