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Public Baths, Celorico de Basto

“Science designs the wave, poetry fills it with water”

Teixeira de Pascoaes


We recognise in this place the legacy of history reflected in the territorial organization drawn by time. We recognise in this place the value of human work in transforming the topography. We recognise in this place the water that gives life and which over the years forged the valley through which runs the stream known as Ribeira de Boques. We recognise in this place the haven that man needs to establish himself. We also recognise the apparent paradox of our admiration for nature – on the one hand, we exalt the massiveness of the trees, which remind of us the woods and forests; on the other, we are delighted with man’s manipulation of that same nature, embodied in the vine trellises that crisscross the territory, filtering light through leaves, from the height of their excessive stature, forming spaces that are controlled and well defined – outdoor rooms. We recognise this place – where intervention is inevitable and preservation essential – as heritage. Thus, we have tried to maintain the spirit, after the praise. We propose to redesign the three most important systems that are recognisable here – the slopes, vine trellises and streams – regulating the whole by means of a contention wall from which routes are established and buildings are organized, resulting finally in the stabilization of two floors which now define the visible boundary between the public and users. We propose to revive the tradition of the Portuguese garden, regularly established according to a profound and stable relationship with architecture. The partially covered walkways  linking the various pools are a source for this in the relationship that they establish with man and the way they maximize the effects of the water, reflecting in the blue painted tiles the shapes provoked by the unstable surface of the waters.  


Pedro Matos Gameiro

design team

Bruno Antão, Nuno dos Santos, Patricia Soares, Ricardo Gouveia


João Paulo Cardoso - PRPC, engenheiros

project year



rendering / model matos gameiro arquitectos

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