Canecas High School

The existent school, that is object of renovation and extension, is located in the outskirts of Caneças, Odivelas, in a territory of intense discontinuities.

There we found a decadent cluster made up of six square pavilions, disconnected amongst themselves, that conveyed the idea of a fragmented school organism.

The proposal is structured by a double interpretation of the learning concept: formal learning and informal learning. Those two dimensions are translated in the building by two different architectural approaches, and yet maintaining a dialogue between each other. As a result, the stiffness of the existent blocks, where the class rooms are placed and arranged like efficient “learning machines”, contrasts with the informal nature of the new built structures, enabling the “informal learning“ in these collective spaces. This new intervention shapes itself in order to embrace the old volumes, which were previously segregated, and bring them all together through the new proposed spaces of learning.

Considering that in a school, every space  is a teaching environment, each one with its own importance, the organization and articulation between all spaces is meant to be fluid, with physical and visual permeability, allowing a more spontaneous and creative appropriation, leading to the will to learn through  space. Human relations and activities are, in the end, in the base of all knowledge. From a tectonic point of view, the solutions adopted give the building an idea of matter unity and grant the space an elementary and abstract character.


Project Type


Rua da Escola Secundária, Caneças, Portugal

Related links


  • ARX
  • Parque Escolar Epe
  • Ricardo Guerreiro, Fábio Cortês, Ana Fontes, João Dantas, Sofia Raposo, Mariana Sá, Emanuel Rebelo, Diana Afonso, Miguel Torres, Filipe Cardoso, Bruno Martins, Marc Anguill, Gaia Pelizzari, Rodrigo Henriques
  • Traços Na Paisagem
  • Pedro Falcão
  • Safre, Estudos e Projectos de Engenharia lda; Pen Engenharia; ctq, lda.; Solgen; Geotest
  • Traços Na Paisagem
  • Courtesy of ARX