A Look Inside Fraunhofer’s New Porto Office

A Look Inside Fraunhofer’s New Porto Office

Research organization Fraunhofer hired architecture firm Pedra Silva Arquitectos to design their new office in Porto, Portugal

“Our team was selected, through an open competition, to design the new Porto headquarters, located at the Technology University Campus: “Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade do Porto (UPTEC)”. Our design took into account Fraunhofer’s innovative philosophy through a message that is simple, positive and dynamic. Innovative workplace layout and organizational elements from Fraunhofer Office Innovation Center in Stuttgart (Germany) were also important inputs to the project, adding another layer to our concept.

The new research facilities occupy two floors in a new UPTEC building with a total of 1.660sqm. Circulation is the project’s backbone; all spaces appear along a distribution route located next to the glass façade. This main axis allows access to all different spaces. These spaces, with different functions and sizes, are generated and consolidated through a bold gesture: a waving plane that goes through the open floors, creating different spaces and ambiences.

These spatial and visual dynamics are generated by a free plane that travels through the space and by colour, which reinforces the perception of different volumes. The waving surface acts, depending on the context, as the ceiling, wall or floor of offices and meeting rooms, guaranteeing visual continuity, movement and flow.

Another important asset to the project is the introduction of several small social and meeting spaces, named silent rooms, which allow for personal retreat, as well as informal meetings or resting. These spaces are intended to generate a highly creative environment promoting comfort and well-being among the researchers.”

  • Location: Porto, Portugal
  • Date completed: 2023
  • Size: 17,868 square feet
  • Design: Pedra Silva Arquitectos
  • Photos: João Morgado
Meeting space
Meeting room
Private office
Meeting room