Student Urban Design Proposal – Massarelos, Porto


In the Massarelos area in Porto, Portugal, our urban design team proposes an expansion and regeneration of the University of Porto, that will concurrently strive to knit the surrounding fragmented neighbourhoods. The proposals for the university will encourage public engagement.

We aim to achieve this by creating a coherent and cohesive route of engagement from the top of Rua Panoramica Edgar Cardoso, right down to the waterfronts seawall.


Gateway to New Route:
– Built form and intensely treed areas define the new route
– Improve surfaces for pedestrians
– Create new cycleway with bikes to hire along parts of the route
– Make it a ‘green thread’ by enhancing the clusters of green along route
– Develop lighting for the route and special lighting for key spaces

U.Porto Aquatic Center (blue) :
(Precedent: Aquatic Center at Hillcrest, Vancouver, Canada – Part of Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre)
– Public access
– 50-meter lap pool
– Leisure pool
– Large hot tub
– Large sauna and steam rooms

U.Porto Amphitheatre (red):
– Public Access
– Center for the Performing Arts
– Multi-use (It will be used as a performance space, but also as a central meeting place for students and the public alike. It will lend itself to the allotment space that lie in the same pocket of land, allowing the two to intercross, having farmers markets taking place in the amphitheatre space.)
– The most outstanding views towards the River Douro and the city of Porto can be gained from the steps of the new amphitheatre. Views that lie beyond the new active allotment space and the rich green foliage that lie directly infront.

U.Porto Allotments (green) :
– Public engagement and community built allotments
(Precedent: Mount Pleasant Community Garden, Vancouver, Canada)
– Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
(Precedent:University British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

U.Porto Library (pink) :
– Public Access

U.P. Faculty of Architecture Expansion (purple) :
(Existing Architecture School by famous architect Alvaro Siza is line drawn across the street from it, and is also a building that is accessible to the public.)
– Additional studio and lecture space
– Center for Sustainable Building Design and Performance
(Precedent:University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
– Energy Research Lab
(Precedent: University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

U. Porto Student Accommodation (yellow) :
– Set into heavily planted park to the north, and overlooks existing allotments and the River Douro to the south

New Cyclist Route (orange) :
– Connects Rua Panoramica Edgar Cardoso to the Waterfronts Seawall
– In the spirit of community integration, the new pedestrianised route runs through a housing complex that is currently closed off to the public. It’s existing internal street allows for this change to take place.

Publication link