Ílhavo Maritime Museum

The building is situated on the outskirts of town, on a irregular plot flanked by houses on two levels, semi-detached or free-standing.
On the other side of the street is the Health Centre, large and institutional.

The extension and remodeling undertaken were extensive, almost doubling the previous surface area (now 3850m2) and restructuring the layout, installations and image.

The existing alignment on the street front was kept intact; the new volume was added inside the plot, creating a new interior garden.
The constraints imposed on the project conditioned the decision to juxtapose volumes while preserving their autonomy.

A first element of the project was to rethink the construction and functional elements of the existing structure, to which a narrow wing was added along its entire length to house accesses and the technical infrastructure of the building.

The new volumes were anchored onto this wing: the large Sala da Ria; the black slate central tower for temporary exhibitions, enigmatic, floating on water; the administrative block with library and coffee shop.

Water is visible from all parts of the building, and is a key feature of the Museum, supporting the symbolic function of the museum (a maritime museum), providing a resource for fire fighters, and providing a potential exhibition field.



 Ílhavo unicipality

  • Issued as  postal stamp by CTT, Correios de Portugal in 2007
  • AICA Award, International Art Critics Association/Ministry of Culture, 2003.
  • Selected for the "Secil Award 2002",
  • Selected for the "Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2002"
  • Selected for the "XXI International Meeting of UIA", Berlin,Germany, 2002


Avenida Dr. Rocha Madahíl, Ílhavo


1997 - 1st award


1997 - 98


1999 - 02


ARX PORTUGAL, Arquitectos Lda.
José Mateus
Nuno Mateus

Work Team

Paulo Rocha, Stefano RivaGabriel Santos, João Alves,
Marco Roque Antunes, Ricardo França, Sara Amado, Susana Ferreira

Lanscape Architecture

GLOBAL, Arquitectura Paisagista Lda.


TAL PROJECTO, Projectos, Estudos e Serviços de Engenharia Lda.

Electrical and Telecomunicatons Planning /
Security Planning

AT, Serviços de Engenharia Electrotécnica e Electrónica Lda.

Sanitary Planning

AQUADOMUS, Consultores Lda.

Mechanical Planning

PEN, Projectos de Engenharia Lda.


Daniel Malhão
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FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura

Fotografia : Fernando Guerra  |  Produção Fotográfica : Sérgio Guerra
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3 850  sqm