Nestled into a hillside of the small town of Sao João Da Madeira, this new retail center is the town’s largest building. Because of its size, the challenge was to create a modern, unified design which was also responsive and friendly at a human scale. The retail flows along a single promenade beginning with a receiving plaza. The façade is semi-transparent, opening shoppers to the urban environment. Outside, a sequence of intertwining landscaped stone terraces and stairs create a grand entrance, where the food courts expand onto this plaza, sheltered beneath a massive canopy. A bridge was needed to connect the supermarket and second level of the shopping center. Inspired by inhabited medieval bridges, the bridge of 8 Avenida is packed with small-scale retail. At the mid-point, a glazed opening makes the bridge more than just a passageway, but a place to shop, pause, and observe the city.