Inhabitat: What was the inspiration behind your Party Animal project?
LIKEArchitects: This project is an urban re-interpretation of the typical theatre red stage. It’s inspired by the famous nearby 16th century “Casa dos Bicos” which has a diamond-shaped stone façade. But obviously, our project is quite far from this 16th century building as it takes advantage of its temporary nature in the choice of materials and its constructive system.
Inhabitat: Did you run into any obstacles during construction, and how did you adapt to them?
LIKEArchitects: We had a different design in mind at the beginning, but we were cut out of budget and the project had to be reduced to only the stage. The first one we were designing didn’t work as a stand-alone object and we had to change strategy and design a new concept in only a week. Due to scarce resources, we came up with the idea for a stage with modular rented parts and re-adapted its front to make it more architecturally interesting.
Inhabitat: What’s the most important thing you want people to know about this project, or your work as a whole?
LIKEArchitects: This project, and our work as a whole, is designed for people and it only makes sense with their interaction. We want our projects to be useful, to be a spatial reference and, of course, to be aesthetically interesting. Party Animal had to have the ability to be the engine of a new temporary center of cultural events: it was made to host not only pop music, but also rock, world music, fado nights, DJs and fashion shows.
Despite the fantastic spatial qualities of the site and its centrality in the city, Praça de Sao Paulo has been merely a passage to the underground clubs and bars on the downtown area for a long time. In order to revitalize and reactivate this site, we designed an iconic urban catalyst that brought in people from all over the city.
We feel that innovative design and functional building are completely compatible and achievable. Furthermore, we will be always interested in learning new architectural systems and processes that combine both logics. At the moment, we are interested in understanding the constructive side of every object, everything that surrounds us, as strange as this can sound. Innovation has to surprise people with the unexpected, and these methodologies have the ability to also surprise us, as spatial thinkers, every day.
Alex Levin is a writer for JW Surety Bonds, an agency that offers construction bonds nationwide and is proud to sponsor a new series of interviews with the best innovative and green-minded architects.