Essenza || Ventura+Partners || Architect of the Year Awards 2020

Ventura+Partners : Runner-Up of Architect of the Year Awards 2020. Essenza is a luxury multifamily residential building located at the doorstep of Porto’s City Park, in Portugal. Following all the guidelines and metrics defined by the Park’s Urbanization Plan for the nascent urban front, the volume lives in total coherence with the surroundings, while standing out for its unusual properties.

The building’s most striking feature is the facade’s three-dimensionality, created through geometric rips that cut the concrete, like if there is a body’s reaction in each tear – a kind of blister. This geometric effect creates the illusion of undulation and movement and is adapted to the facade facing the park, where the openings are much larger, and the protrusion effect is smaller. This design makes better use of the park’s views while maintaining the building’s conceptual consistency. The openings’ geometry is enriched by the shine of the golden aluminum of the minimalist frames. Likewise, the planters’ vegetation and colors jazz up the white-toned dry facade.

The gated community has a reception, which provides security to its residents and contributes to the building’s unitary image. The facade’s skin effect extends to the base of the volume, covered from one end to the other by a golden grid with a design inspired by the tapered geometry oculi. This solution allows solving the proximity to the street, integrating housing programs, a lobby, and garages entrances on a sole basis, without interfering with the object’s reading. Semi-translucent and delicate, this surface acts as a membrane that prevents the passage but allows light to enter.

Essenza was designed to be experienced, combining technology with a selection of luxury finishes to provide maximum comfort and functionality to its residents. In this context, we highlight the home automation system, the radiant floor heating used in the circulation spaces, bedrooms, living rooms, and the Carrara marble used throughout the bathrooms. The marble blocks were selected directly in Carrara, brought from Italy, and cut, treated, and fully prepared in Portugal.

In permanent dialogue with the Park, Essenza promotes the extension of its physical spaces, in a symbiosis between interior and exterior, as if it were a marriage between architecture and nature.

Firm || Ventura+Partners
Project Name || Essenza
Architect || Ventura+Partners
Architect of the Year Award Category || Residential Built

Project Location || Porto
Team || Ventura+Partners
Country || Portugal
Photography ©Credit || ©António Teixeira/Nelson Garrido

A company dedicated to developing architecture, urbanism, and design projects worldwide since 1994.

In the last 25 years, we have been developing projects of different scales and in the most diverse architecture segments, such as commercial, corporate, residential, hospitality, industrial, healthcare, mobility and urban space. Combining a solid experience with ongoing research and innovation, we are committed to pursuing integrated and sustainable solutions through strategic planning. Our mission is to improve people’s lives through architecture, allowing meaningful interactions between them and their surrounding space.