Work on the new space that will house the Escola Superior Artística do Porto (ESAP) has already started. After tourism “ousted” the emblematic school classified by UNESCO from the historic center of Porto, ESAP found a new home in Antas in front of the Soares dos Reis art school. Although the contract is not expected to end before the end of 2022, the new facilities will open their doors to students and teachers in the next academic year.
The academic director of ESAP, Eduarda Neves, had already informed PUBLIC in 2020 that the change was “positive and absolutely necessary”. The new facilities include 20 workshops and classrooms, four workshops and four laboratories in the fields of multimedia and design, photo and cinema studios, two auditoriums and a university residence. According to Eduarda Neves, these are “long-awaited” conditions, as the old building in Largo de São Domingos was “small, the rooms were not the best for students and their location made it impossible to intervene”. .
The new facilities on Rua do Major David Magno, which will also house the administrative services of the Artistic Cooperative for Higher Education in Porto (CESAP), will cover a total area of more than eight thousand four hundred square meters and include the intervention in a textile factory and in the construction of one new building connected by a multipurpose outdoor terrace. The central idea of the project is to “create equipment that is strongly characterized by the collective use of the various spaces”, in which inside and outside complement each other.
In addition to these features, there are plans to build another building to house the exhibition gallery and ESAP library and to connect to Avenida Fernão de Magalhães. The project is being developed by a group of school teachers and funded exclusively by CESAP.
Due to the geographical proximity, the partnership with Escola Artística Soares dos Reis is strengthened, but Eduarda Neves does not go into detail for the time being. “We are completing the plan accordingly, which we want to implement from April. This seems to us to be the most appropriate moment as it coincides with the planned phase of ongoing work and therefore gives this process greater visibility. “
The connection to the historic center, where it all began in 1982, has not been forgotten. The Dínamo Gallery, which will completely occupy the two floors of the space it shares with the school, will maintain the umbilical relationship with ESAP and will be a “fundamental exhibition space for the institutional dynamics” and for the area in which they wish to intervene – art. contemporary. The gallery is currently closed due to the pandemic, but the next exhibition will open on April 9th. A national and international open call for artists and curators will be opened shortly.
Text edited by Ana Fernandes