Architecture: Stadium in abandoned quarry

(May 2011) Braga’s football fans, in northern Portugal, endearingly call their stadium „Quarry“ („A pedreira“) and when the local team is playing, they pull all the registers so even those unable to attend can hear the ruckus from far away. The arena has a unique point: one side is open toward the city. On two parallel sides, spectators face one another and the fourth side, parallel to the open one, is a stone wall of an abandoned quarry.

Eduado Souto de Moura, or Souto Moura for short, won this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize, often dubbed the Nobel Prize for Architects and accompanied by a purse of 100,000 US $ for his construction.

In books and publications one can read about Eduado Souto de Moura: walls are the central element of building which is why natural stone rectangles repeatedly find their way into his works. The concept is clearly understandable when viewing his Casa des Artes in Souto Moura’s home town of Porto and is also true of the Pousada Santa Maria do Bouro in Amares a once decrepit monastery on the pilgrim’s path to Santiago de Compostela, which Souto Moura painstakingly refurbished paying great attention to historic detail and transformed to a modern hotel.

But walls and stone are not a credo for Souto Moura either. The Metro stadium in Porto and Paula Rego Museum in Cascais or the entrance to the Lisbon’s Expo 1998 Pavillon, under the span of a seemingly floating concrete roof, show no sign of his foible.

Sporting Clube de Braga (Portuguese)