program_ site visitor center
location_ cromeleque dos almendres
competitions_ arkxsite competition, 2nd prize
from the architects_
Lay on top of the hill of Evora, adding to the dense of the trees, there is a line of reflection from the story of Cromeleque dos Almendres. A path that leads us to see the history and local wisdom of people, nature, and astronomy.
The design starts from the idea of not being stand put but blend and serene with the environment and existing megalithic monument.
The design approach is to respect the nature and existing environment, therefore the visitor center building is designed with a thin stripe shape, and with light and calm expression. Transparent wall placed in between the trees with thin column and structure, looks like disappeared between the nature, and become a translucent scenery for the megalithic monument.
Space characteristic – the long and the light
The space is initially inspired by the atmosphere of a belvedere, which has a character as a place to enjoy the surrounding view and scenery. The visitor center has no massive elements, the space inside is created by transparent wall that allows visitors to have a visual connection with the outside. The space and functions inside are arranged in linear configuration, with an open layout plan so that the visitor can wander and experience the space.
Not to stand out but hiding between the trees. The building expression is inspired by an idea of what if architecture is like air, cannot literally seen but we are able to sense it. Translucent surface, very thin column, and bright ambience are the elements. contrast but calm.
The idea is to provide a new and unique space experience for the visitors and to raise the issue of heritage and preservation through architecture. The visitor center becomes the extension of the history from Cromeleque dos Almendres, storing and preserve the story of 95 megalithic stones under 1 roof.