Sometimes it must look a little worse before it gets better, and for the first stage of our new campus construction, our motto is “it’s what’s inside that counts.” You may not see it from the outside, but there is major work going on inside our building!
We decided to first demolish and then rebuild our school from the inside out to ensure our beautiful classrooms are ready for our September opening and give us more time to complete the stunning exterior facades.
Building Portugal's Most Beautiful School
This is an ambitious project, and the goal for TASIS Portugal is to be the most beautiful school in the country. Our master architect is David Meyernik, a professor of classical architecture at Notre Dame University who has worked for TASIS schools for the past 30 years. Drawing on his background and inspired by the iconic castles and architecture of Sintra, David has designed a stunningly beautiful new school campus.
The new design incorporates traditional Portuguese building elements for gorgeous facades and roof lines. Our interior classroom and meeting area design was done by talented local architect Nelson Rangle and his team from Blue Office. We were not interested in putting classrooms into empty stores but have been very deliberate in demolishing the interior to create a purpose built school. As an example of the scale of even the smallest phase, Phase 1, more than 90 windows will line the profile, letting in abundant natural light and fresh air.
Finishing Phase 1 in August
Our Phase 1 will incorporate the reconstruction of less than 20% of the shopping center to easily accommodate our first year of enrollment – students in pre-kindergarten through grade 6. Our project coordination team from MassivBau and our main contractor, Novos Construtores (builders of more than 100 large-scale projects, including Intermarche grocery stores), have tightly orchestrated the construction schedule to accommodate an August opening.
Phase 2 begins after the school is open: we’ll build out the middle school, the administration offices, the student commons, and the dining hall. That will be a much larger project, and form the centerpiece of the school. Unfortunately, we understand that it may involve removing the "big top"tent that we wanted, replacing it with a roof that is more impervious to the weather. So, we hope instead to build an enormous glass dome to replace the tent. Construction for phase 2 will begin this fall, after we open the elementary school and Early Learning Center.
Beautiful buildings are a hallmark of TASIS schools. Our founder, Mrs. Fleming, believed that form is as important as function, encouraging us to seek beauty in all we do. Of course, it is our people who will make TASIS really remarkable, safe, and beautiful on the inside...but beauty on the outside never hurts!