João Mendes Ribeiro's warehouse used to exhibit Andy Warhol artwork

Warehouse in Portugal by João Mendes Ribeiro used to exhibit Andy Warhol artwork

Portuguese architect João Mendes Ribeiro designed this corrugated steel and concrete warehouse for a components manufacturer, but prior to moving in its art collector-owner filled the space with work by Andy Warhol, John Baldessari and Antony Gormley (+ slideshow).

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

João Mendes Ribeiro was commissioned to design the Adémia office and warehouse building by António Albertino in an industrial area of Coimbra, a medieval city on the edge of the Mondego River that was once Portugal's capital.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

The priceless artworks were part of a pop-up exhibition in the space, installed in the window of time between construction completing and the machinery associated with the manufacture of car parts moved in.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

Pieces by pop artist Andy Warhol as well as sculptors Miroslaw Balka, Antony Gormley and Ângelo de Sousa were arranged by curator Delfim Sardo on wooden hoardings erected in the vast warehouse space.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

Though the use was seemingly unintentional, this is the second of Mendes Ribeiro's to host prestigious artwork. Previously, the architect converted an old volcanic stone tobacco factory into an art museum on São Miguel, the largest of the volcanic islands that make up Portugal's Azores archipelago.

The Adémia building comprises two volumes – one a warehouse space and the other a sales office – amounting to an area of 1,555 square metres. The two sections are linked at first floor level by an aerial bridge that spans a courtyard.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

Cast in-situ concrete walls run around the base of each volume, rising to meet the corrugated metal cladding that covers the upper section of each of the pitched-roof segments.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

"The selected materials play a major role in the characterisation of the two volumes," said the architect. "A horizontal line runs across the two buildings, creating a clear distinction between two key materials: concrete and grey coated corrugated steel panels."

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

"Ultimately, the consistent use of these two materials throughout the project, and the inventive ways in which they are combined together, creates a unique identity for both buildings to act as a whole."

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

The warehouse is formed from five conjoined pointed-roof volumes creating a zigzagging outline, while the office has a single asymmetric pitched roof.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

The office features white walls and pale timber window frames, while in the warehouse the concrete and metal construction is left exposed.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

An elevated metal box stands on stilts at one end of the warehouse space. This provides a secure store and a means to access the aerial walkway that connects the two parts of the site.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

Like the warehouse, the walkway features concrete slab floors and bracing metal elements. One side is clad in corrugated steel while the other has a perforated screen overlooking the car park and courtyard below.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

Among Mendes Ribeiro's previous projects are a swimming pool and mirrored pavilion in an orchard and the extension of a wine-tasting hotel in Portugal's Portalegre district.

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro

The temporary art exhibition ran between April and May 2015.

Photography is by Nelson Garrido.


Project credits:

Architect: João Mendes Ribeiro
Co-architects: Catarina Fortuna, Joana Brandão
Collaborators: Ana Margarida Tavares, Inês Lourenço, Joana Canas Marques, Ana Maria Feijão, Inês Lourenço, Filipe Catarino
Client: António Albertino dos Santos
Foundation and structures: Paulo Maranha (ECA Projectos)
Hydraulic installation: Vítor Ribeiro (ECA Projectos)
Electrical installation: Luís Ribeiro (ECA Projectos)
Mechanical installation: Pedro Dias (ECA Projectos)
Fire safety: Paulo Sampaio (ECA Projectos)
Acoustic conditioning: Celsa Vieira (ECA Projectos)
Thermal performance: Diogo Mateus (ECA Projectos)
Open spaces: João Mendes Ribeiro
Inspection: Jorge Teixeira Dias
Contractor: Ramos Catarino 2

Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro
First floor plan – click for larger image
Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro
Section one – click for larger image
Ademia office and warehouse building by Joao Mendes Ribeiro
Section two – click for larger image