“Luso-Vinhos” Warehouse (former “A Reguladora” Factory)

“Luso-Vinhos” Warehouse (former “A Reguladora” Factory)

Maputo [Lourenço Marques], Maputo, Mozambique


The "A Reguladora" Factory, designed by João José Tinoco (1924-1983) is, together with the complex of the Headquarters of Entreposto Enterprise (1969-1972) one of the industrial programs built in Maputo in the early 1970s. In this building, the evidently brutalist expression of the volumes is, exists ambivalently, with its reduced scale, which contributes to the greater role of some additional elements, such as those that are part of ventilation systems, natural lighting and drainage of rainwater from roofs.

The building consists of three volumes organized around a patio, two for production activities, and a smaller volume for offices. The volumes for the production are illuminated by overhead light inputs, unlike the office volume in which various openings are designed in the East façade.

An interesting aspect of this architectonical piece by João José Tinoco lies in a coverage geometrical simplicity, combined with an efficient response to functional and environmental requirements. The two types of coverage used in the modules destined to industrial production exhibit the profile of an isosceles triangle, although presenting different disposition each. This solution leads to the compound formal dynamism and external impact. The building structure is executed in reinforced concrete, emphasized by coverage slabs such as the brise solei blades, on the two types of leaning coverage. By using roof frames, the project assumed a color distinction between nonstructural walls – painted white – and the coverage on reinforced concrete. Due to an industrial building program, several interior spaces reveal frugality on chosen materials.

The construction technique tried to simplify the needs of an industrial building, justifying the design of an element simultaneously responding to structural, and comfort and security requirements. As an example, the coverage system design, systematically repeating inclined elements in “shed” type, considering its extension, height and geometrical feature (45º inclination), also operates an efficient rainwater drainage using one solo gutter system which, at the same time, constitutes the structural beams. The hygrothermal comfort is assured by the ventilation of overtures on top of the glazed vertical spans.

Today, the watch factory "A Reguladora" is the headquarters of Luso-vinhos Company, leading to the change of uses. Where previously was installed machinery is now installed a warehouse, refectory and housing. The walls in brick masonry facilitated new opening and the suppression of others, having radically changed the original opaque building image. The buildings added disrupt the building understanding when regard from North or West side.

Despite these interventions the most important formal and spatial configurations are perceptible.

Original by João Vieira Caldas and Francisco Seabra Ferreira.

(FCT: PTDC/AUR-AQI/103229/2008)

Adaptation by Ana Tostões and Daniela Arnaut