AMOREIRAS SHOPPING CENTER _ FOOD COURT - LISBOA
Project provided from ATELIER NINI ANDRADE SILVA
In one corner of the shopping center, there is a place where the air is different. The monochromatic space with a single finish makes it appear almost like a single store, but it’s actually a food court with 34 restaurants of various sizes spread through an area of 4330 square meters. The floors, the walls, and the ceilings are all covered with a wood finish in the same color, and the subtle illumination, which is not too bright, creates a cozy ambience. The streets extend in a matrix, just like city streets. Wander around searching for the restaurant you want, and you’ll be able to find various locations to enjoy the food at the same time. By the water, or by greenery, in a slightly raised area, at a small table for one, at a large table that can seat 44, on a balcony, at a counter, on sofa seats of various sizes and types, at seats with iPads…you can relax and enjoy your meal at all of these places and more, while feeling the changing sunlight that passes in from the windows.
This project was a commission to renovate the food court of the Amoreiras Shopping Center, which was approaching a landmark 30 years, under a new concept. The previous version had the tenant spaces facing the building’s windows, which meant that sunlight did not reach the common spaces. On the other hand, it was desired that the new version would secure the maximum number of window openings for the common areas, and let in natural light.
Given its commercial nature, the layout is all about fitting in a wide a variety of tenants as efficiently possible, while the flow of people ensures that customers can tour fluidly. In order to keep the collection of a wide variety of stores from looking disorganized, attention was paid to unifying the design and presenting an understated front. It goes without saying that shoppers were our targets, but given the location of the shopping center, there was another significant target group. This comprised the offices located in the same building, as well as the business district extending in its periphery. At lunchtime, office workers would spill out in search of places to eat. Therefore, another significant point involved creating a space that would provide the relaxing and refreshing experience needed for them to take a time out. In addition, an elegant, rather than a casual taste is expressed in the design, in keeping with the brand image of the shopping center.
The common space comprises, in addition to the seats placed in the streets (aisles), three main plazas (areas) that each have different characters, called the “Lounge Area”, “Dining Area”, and “Terrace Area”. The Lounge Area has a large low table and a large one-meter-square sofa next to water and greenery, and envisages situations such as enjoying snacks, meeting up, and chatting. The Dining Area has a large 14.5 meter-long table that can seat 44 and is overhung with a huge 13 meter-long lamp that uses 124 cork plates. This produces an eye-catching space that is hidden away in the innermost recesses of the food court zone.
The two Terrace Areas have floors that are raised by 45 centimeters. They are fronted by windows, and feel almost like terraces inside solariums that are warmed by sunshine. These spaces cannot be taken in with a single glance. More is revealed to you as you walk forward, and turn corners. This is because the purpose of the design is to create the kind of space that takes you by surprise in the middle of the city, or interesting development in sequences, as well as a strategy to draw people in to the farthest recesses.
The Portuguese love to dine al fresco, at restaurants, terraces, plazas, and on the street. We wanted to bring that sensation indoors, to create a place that would naturally draw people in. And the ambience also has the faintest hint of Japan. It is a soft, calming space that is enveloped in a wood finish.
TEXT by NOBUAKI TANAKA
AMOREIRAS SHOPPING CENTER _ FOOD COURT
ATELIER NINI ANDRADE SILVA
SARAIVA + ASSOCIADOS
Although this project was executed by ATELIER NINI ANDRADE SILVA, Nini has granted us permission to introduce it on this website.
As the main architect, Nobuaki Tanaka was involved in the entire project from design to supervision during his time at her Atelier.