The building is integrated into the urban development plan for the Praca de Espanha. The museum is dedicated to the Portuguese ceramic artist Manuel Cargaleiro and will house his extensive collection of tile work as well as temporary exhibitions.
The proposed 4,800 square meter construction integrates two forms: a vertical tower raised on columns, and a two story gallery volume. Together they define a partially enclosed garden along which the gallery spaces are entered. The museum is organised on two levels around a central top-lit ramp. All services are distributed through cavity walls on either side of the ramp eliminating the need for suspended ceilings in the gallery spaces. The vertical circulation along the ramp offers positions to overlook the galleries and establishes a pattern of cross-views opening up the enfilade of galleries. Service spaces occupy the eastern side of the main volume. On the ground floor a bookstore is accessed from the entry atrium and the cafeteria is located along the west side of the garden patio.
The spaces of the Foundation (auditorium, administrative offices, studios, library) occupy the tower and are accessed independently from the exhibition spaces providing for flexibility of use. The sloped floor of the raised auditorium forms a covered portico to the foundation and museum.