A new development is in the works, designed to sit on a Portuguese hillside and provide a community with unique characteristics and a focus on sustainable design, function, well-being and innovation.
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The project is dubbed Fuse Valley. It’s a collaboration between Farfetch, the leading global technology platform for luxury fashion, and Portuguese real estate developer Castro Group. The duo brought in notable sustainability-focused architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design the plan for the site.
Located along the slopes of the Leça River in Porto, the site was chosen for its proximity to convenient transportation and the river. The overall blueprint of Fuse Valley will include 24 buildings for a mixture of tech companies, a hotel, small start-ups, and services. Farfetch HQ will encompass 12 interconnected buildings that open the doors to creativity and idea exchange between employees and visitors.
“The individual buildings that constitute the various elements of the organization are connected to form large contiguous work environments – physically consolidated, but spatially varied to create a human-scale experience,“ said João Albuquerque, Partner in Charge at BIG.
The BIG design places the buildings around plazas, parks and courtyards meant to blur the lines between the outdoors and indoor spaces while promoting a healthy work and community environment. The Farfetch buildings include lobbies, an academy, an auditorium, a canteen and wellness facilities that flow together as an extension of the surrounding hillside and emphasize biophilic design throughout the spaces.
The location and the focus on health are seen through the plans to cater to mobility to, from, and onsite with electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure to support the use of bicycles and electric scooters. Fuse Valley will also connect to the main public transport via shuttles.
According to Paulo Castro, CEO of Castro Group, “Fuse Valley is the perfect interpretation of our golden rule, applied to all our projects: location, innovation, sustainability, and technology. What we are going to do in Matosinhos is something unique and that puts this space on the international map of what is best done both in terms of sustainability and in terms of innovation. With this project, we intend to develop a smart city, or in this case, a smart valley.”
In both construction and scheduled use of the buildings, Farfetch and Fuse Valley are leaning into green building practices and low environmental impact with the hope of being one of the most sustainable building developments in Portugal and Europe.
Fuse Valley is scheduled to break ground by early 2023 and open its doors in 2025.
Visualizations by Lucian R, courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group