Nova Arcada: A shopping centre with a colourful 'steel puzzle' envelope

The Nova Arcada complex opened in March 2015 in the Portuguese city of Braga. More than 100 shops are covering the 70 000 m2 allocated for retail and entertainment. Its design stands out with an organic form and a unique colour concept. The sandwich panels used for the facade are made of ArcelorMittal’s precoated Granite® steel.

Detailed information

Architectural concept

The north of Portugal, around the city of Braga, is an economically growing area with a young, affluent population. Since the main retail offer was concentrated in the historical city centre, it was decided that a shopping centre in the outskirts of the city should be built that would comprise a hypermarket, a multiplex cinema, an entertainment area with a health club, restaurants, and shops.

The building, designed by the Portuguese architects at Sua Kay is characterised by its organic form and consists of two irregularly curved volumes of different height that are connected by an impressive staircase leading up to the entrance. The entrance hall is naturally illuminated on all floors thanks to a glass cylinder that breaks through the roof like a lantern and lets in the daylight.

A total of six floors are distributed on the two main volumes. The left wing (seen from the entrance) has two subterranean floors dedicated to parking and a retail floor (0+) which offers both parking and retail space. The entrance stairs lead to level 0, with the hypermarket in the left volume and the retail space on the right. On the 1st floor, shops and entertainment spaces covers both volumes, whereas on the top floor the restaurants and additional space for entertainment is only in the left wing.

Slightly offset from the main facade of the right volume, a tower rises into the sky like a flagpole. It makes the shopping centre visible from the surrounding motorways and contains the fire stairs.

Colour concept & Granite® coated steel

A special highlight is the colour concept of the shopping centre’s facade: Whereas one of the volumes and the suspended roof are entirely grey, the other one glistens in various contrasting colours – the precoated facade panels make up a lively puzzle in metallic shades.

ArcelorMittal supplied the organic coated steel for the facade panels produced by Huurre Iberica: Granite® Standard (Grey) and Granite® Pearlescent PVDF for the colour puzzle were produced at the mills in Legasa and Avilés, Spain.

Project information

  • Braga
  • Portugal
  • Architect:
    Sua Kay Architects
  • 2007 - 2012
  • Client:
    Chamartin Imobiliaria
  • Contractors: 
    CIVAL Portugal
    Huurre Iberica (facade panels)
  • Photographer:
    Huurre Iberica