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The perfect setting: the Matadouro de Campanhã is on its way to being a landmark building

The perfect setting: the Matadouro de Campanhã is on its way to being a landmark building
28 May 2021

The stark contrast: what once was a derelict place, is giving way to a building that is making sure that this renovation will be one for the History books: the landmark site that will change the scenery in the Eastern part of the city of Porto. The wheel excavators of Mota Engil entered the building of the former Matadouro Industrial de Campanhã. This building stage comprises the demolition of all the elements that have been compromised by degradation. The Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira visited the site yesterday morning, accompanied by Horácio Sá, Mota Engil Engenharia board chairman, by Carlos Mota Santos, Mota Engil board member, architect Luís Sousa, of the civil construction company in charge of the project.

Rui Moreira had a glimpse of how all will work out, namely the 8 000 square kilometres that Porto City Hall reserved for the Museu da Cidade and other cultural and social projects. Following the due licencing of the several specialities, the new Matadouro will start to come to life, where multiple narratives will fill the atmosphere of a new reality to be.

Rui Moreira walked by the central nave of the building, passing by all the surrounding structures, namely where the former Invencível factory once was and went through the former Animal Welfare Association, which still display the rusty boxes.

Now, this vacant urban space will be converted to be part of the community again, as the project consists of a roof, which is meant to embrace the pre-existing coating by preserving it and designing a structure that springs over the VCI main road, by means of a pedestrian bridge, which will connect the Matadouro backgrounds to the western part of the Dragão Stadium. The entire project was designed to preserve tradition and the historical heritage of the place.

Councillors Catarina Araújo and Pedro Baganha also accompanied the Mayor of Porto to the working site of the Matadouro, and together with Go Porto managers, Manuel Aranha and Cátia Meirinhos, observed the 3D models of the "future” and the "graveyard” of old objects from other eras, bearing the former logo of Porto City Hall.

It is worth highlighting that the former Industrial Slaughterhouse (Matadouro Industrial), which is located in the parish of Campanhã, is terminated for twenty years now; it was on sale on public auctions but the former Mayor of Porto never sold it.

The endeavour comprises a 40 million euros investment, fully supported by Mota-Engil, the company in Porto that won the tender launched by Porto City Hall for that space allowance. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, author of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium is the architect in charge of the project, jointly with renowned Portuguese architecture atelier OODA.

With the work of the former Slaughterhouse, the eastern part of Porto will provide a significant area for companies to settle in, as well as art galleries, museums, auditoriums and social cohesion spaces, which will be a boost not only for the city of Porto but also for the entire Northern Region.

In an area of circa 26 000 square meters, the Municipality established a partnership that will enable to maintain circa 20500 square metres, of which 12 500 Square metres are meant for business spaces, and almost 8000 to be explored by the Municipality. The space that will be run by the Municipality includes several valences, with 1700 square metres meant to host artwork, and an extension of the Municipal Gallery, to which the Municipality has reserved more than 500 square metres, and another 1.800 square metres for the installation of an extension of the Museu da Cidade.

The Municipal Slaughterhouse was inaugurated in 1910, but it has been abandoned for over two decades and from now on its lights will be turned on again. Rui Moreira and his team, alongside developers, did not forget to bring human activity and liveliness to a long-forgotten place in the western part of the city of Porto.