Resulting from adaptation and expansion of the old garage of Serralves Villa, located in the eastern border of the Park, the Casa do Cinema Manoel de Oliveira establishes a coherent dialogue with all the built heritage of the Serralves Foundation. Álvaro Siza's architectural project preserves the character and configuration of the existing building, while highlighting the remnants of Marques da Silva's intervention, who was commissioned by the Count of Vizela to alter the original building, in order to dignify it without disrupting the context of the renovations of the villa and surrounding gardens. As stated in the descriptive memorandum of Álvaro Siza’s project, "it is difficult to define with exactitude the exact scope of this intervention, but its most salient features are the granite slab covering the building’s entire ground floor and a concrete slab for the roof covering of the garage space and masonry framing the exterior door and window openings".
A second unit was built, attached to this building, whose volume and alignment are assumed in continuity of the existing garage, with a flat roof at the same height and a pitched roof, in extension of the existing roof. The main differences between the two volumes are revealed in the design of the elevations and the roof covering of the new building, where the roof tiles are replaced by zinc sheets.
The Casa do Cinema has two exhibition rooms, a bookshop and workspaces located on the two floors of the existing building. The new building houses a 59-seat auditorium, an archive, research space and the educational service’s rooms, accessed via a long open gallery that offers panoramic views over the surrounding garden.