Brazil: a new area of the Harbour of Navegantes inaugurated by the young Italian Studio "Schiavello Architects Office" and its Brazilian partner "Canhadas Bottarelli Arquitetura"

The "Portonave" Company has opened a new area of the Harbour of Navegantes, in Brazil, one of the nations largest private commercial ports owned by the Company itself. The Project of expansion, taking its name from the abovementioned Company, has been planned by the "Schiavello Architects Office" and the "Canhadas Bottarelli Arquitetura" studios.
The Company bought the plot of land in 2005, starting its activity in 2007. Since then, "Portonave" has been employing more than 1,100 employees, contributing to restart the economy of the city. In 2008, a new project planning has started. The aim of the company was to create a building hosting, on the ground floor, a company canteen, a library, a relaxation area and a dressing room serving its workers and, on the first floor, an auditorium and a large raised and covered square for events.
Although they took a long time to start, works have been concluded in 14 months only.
The goal was to create a building acting as a new landmark in the area and open to the local community as well. As a matter of fact, the Company has started a partnership with the public administration aimed at promoting both cultural and social projects (health promotion, child and elderly care) and environmental initiatives (requalification of different areas of the city, awareness projects on environmental issues and other initiatives focused on sustainable development).
The "Portonave Project" has been carried out thanks to parametric processes and it is extended over a surface of 5,600 square meters.
The building calls to mind the shape of a ship ready to take off and its covering resembles the texture of the so-called butterfly fish, belonging to the Chaetodontidae family and that can be found also in the Atlantic Ocean.
The idea of the "Schiavello Architects Office" and the "Canhadas Bottarelli Arquitetura" studios was to give a strong, simple and innovative sign to the Project.
It was conceived by highlighting the working environments, the interlinking and acceding elements to the area of the harbour and the traffic stream, as well as stressing its visibility and recognizability at a urban level: the building, the green area, the raised square become an ideal connection between the harbour and the city and, at the same time, a gateway to the Port.
The large, custom-made aluminum panels of different sizes cover an area of 90 x 40 meters; the high facade has been conceived as an urban and panoramic "promenade", shining at night. The building creates a sort of "path", structured on various levels and connected with ramps, staircases and a raised square, with harbour view. The external green elements are also a distinctive element of the Project.
From a functional point of view, the working spaces are located on the ground floor while the upper part of the building hosts the most representative ones as well as the relaxation area.
The connection elements - ramps, stairs and corridors that link the different functional areas of the building - have been designed to have both a functional and an expressive and representative effect.
The building is well placed in the context it belongs to. It has three entrances, the central and lateral open to the harbour and the administrative building. The third entrance, on the other hand, is apparently more representative as it is at the entrance of the harbour and hides inside a hall with stairs and lifts that bring visitors to the auditorium.



Project: Portonave Auditorium Navegantes
Location : Navegantes - Brazil
Client: Portonave S/A - Terminais Portuários de Navegantes
Office: Schiavello Architects Office ( ) + Canhadas Bottarelli Arquitetura (
Architects: Francesco Schiavello, Sabina Bottarelli, Marina Canhadas
Building construction: 2016/2017
Area: 6000 mq

Francesco Schiavello, Marina Canhadas, Sabina Bottarelli


Francesco Schiavello