Gulbenkian distinguished by DOCOMOMO

The Grand Auditorium renovation project, designed by the architect Teresa Nunes da Ponte, won the Docomomo Rehabilitation Award in the Sustained Uses category.
Grand Auditorium – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation© Ricardo Oliveira Alves

This award distinguishes modern architectural preservation projects that adapt contemporary standards as a means of inspiring reflection on the living heritage of Modernism worldwide. The winning architectonic interventions include renovation, restoration, reutilisation and maintenance projects for buildings around the world over the last twelve years.

The international jury considered the Grand Auditorium renovation and restoration project by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to be “an exemplary renovation” in adapting the venue to current standards both in technical terms and according to their technological and safety facets. The jury also deemed that this “invisible updating managed to maintain the unique and monumental character of the building while adapting it to contemporaneity.”

The project by the office of Teresa Nunes da Ponte Arquitetura for the renovation and restoration of the Grand Auditorium took place between 2013 and 2014 and incorporated renovation work on the performance hall, the stage, sub-stage and orchestra and choir rehearsal rooms. This also extended to all of the technical support zones that were endowed with new structures and infrastructures fully meeting the European rules in terms of safety, quality and operating standards.

Despite the scope of the intervention, the changes introduced were only those strictly necessary to deepening the technological, acoustic and safety capacities of the venue and not altering the notable set made up of the Gulbenkian Headquarters and Museum (classified as a National Monument in 2010), by the architects Alberto Pessoa, Pedro Cid and Ruy d’Athouguia.

Docomomo – Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement – is a non-governmental organisation represented in around 70 countries across the five continents.

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