Glass Comes Alive in Portugal Urban Destination


Designed by the international architecture and planning firm, Suttle Mindlin, Dolce Vita Porto is a spectacular 2 million-square-foot urban destination. The mixed-use project combines shopping, dining, and entertainment, with a residential tower, a hotel tower, and an exhibition hall.

Dolce Vita Porto is the 2007 Winner of the ICSC International Design & Development Award, the ICSC European Design Award and the MIPIM Design Award. Its companion project, Dolce Vita Coimbra, won the ICSC and MIPIM Design Awards in 2006. Dolce Vita Porto opened, fully leased, and is already a destination experience for Portugal, Spain, and the surrounding countries.

Dolce Vita Porto integrates significant art and sculpture into the physical design of the architecture. This collaboration culminates with a major stair hall enclosed by an 18-meter tall by 90-meter long glass sculpture wall comprised of 24 different types of glass that will come alive with dramatic lighting effects, giving the south façade a presence, day or night, that can compete with the dominance of the much larger stadium across the street.

The project is a study in transparency, translucency, and opacity, with a physical quality to the light that is brought into the spaces through a wide range of glazing systems. It is meant to be a modern "cathedral" for social interaction.

Important considerations revolved around the need to manage the surge of 70,000 soccer fans that will occur three times a month and manage distribution within the overall development, without disrupting the retail shopper. Suttle Mindlin provided master planning, architectural design, interior design, lighting design, and full construction documents, managing a team of professionals on three continents from their studios in St. Louis.


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