• Credit: Guimarães 2012

Portugal’s first capital, Guimarães, is rich in history. Yet the nearly 1,600-year-old city’s entrance into the global marketplace is distorting or rendering obsolete some of its lesser-known cultural institutions. Enter the Made-In international design challenge, which aims to commission the restoration of four public washhouses and build a new one while also educating locals about their city’s network of washhouses and its community-driven architectural and social history. Although the washhouses exist less on the surface of daily life as compared with downtown cafés, bars, parks, squares, and social clubs, they are still used today by some of the approximately 158,000 residents of the Guimarães metropolitan area.

The four existing spaces are eligible for redesign by the competition winners, while a fifth space is to be designed by the winner among a selection of invited design professionals. The deadline for submission is July 15 and the winners will be announced Oct. 27. Meanwhile, an exhibition during the month of October at the Guimarães Center for Art and Architectural Affairs will feature the top 12 proposed designs from the open competition, along with the selection from the closed group. Visitors may cast one vote for their favorite among both the open- and closed-call selections, with the winners to count as one vote during jury deliberation.