Surroundings of the Military Headquarters in Moura

Zona Envolvente ao Edifício dos Quartéis da Cidade de Moura 

The space which was the purpose of this competition has its identity deeply marked by the presence of the Military Headquarter Building, previous and contemporary. This building has set up the environment and contained the urban development. Its location on the City’s urban fabric creates different use possibilities by a diverse population and at different paces.

The proposal seeks to provide Moura with outdoor spaces with different functions that deal with the urban life, integrating and enriching it, and allowing an integration of generations and references to life from a higher level. The solutions seek to create more qualified spaces, integrating the characteristics and cultural heritage in a contemporary context, without loss of identity or exclusion of any of the actors. The preservation of these identities, of their relative ownership of the spaces through a set of platforms, is the basis of what one here presents.

The proposal settles a succession of large platforms – easily noticeable through its materialization and relationship with the surroundings – that are articulated, differentiating functions, unobtrusively, allowing small overlaps and approximations without loss of perceived space domain by its users. Integrated with this set, a circulation system abuts the housing front and becomes a structure of small-scale urban street, potentially appropriated by its inhabitants, while respecting the memorable principles of neighborhood. The basic fabric which puts together all these objects is the tree canopy mass, where only the deployment of platforms and the visual axes – which allow the visualization and understanding of the heritage – break it, drawing a first decoding key to read the space.

The establishment of a large yard to the east of the building is the first card, which uses depend essentially on the experiences of the building, but whose precarious installation does not detract from the function of emptiness, to those circulating in the surrounding space. This meaning is given by the materialization of an aggregate surface, by the permanently temporary character of the awnings that carry out the shading, and by the urban equipment, which give it a feeling of not belonging there. Terraces, small exhibitions, concerts and summer conferences, a meeting place for people, or temporary space for outdoor work, all of these situations can work here in the perspective of interconnection with the program built.

To the west of the building another platform is set up, allowing the building to have space for its own, for perception, on the one hand and, on the other hand, establishing itself as a fresh route to the North / South (shaded by trees, to the east, and the freshness of the whitewashed wall of the military headquarter, to the west). This path is set as prime location for small outdoor fairs, finished on the west by a wall that becomes leisure area in different ways, becomes a space of time, enjoying the shade and keeping links to the matrix of the park.

To the West, three platforms differentiate functions in the park. The first is an active recreational space, intended for the elderly, but also with the capacity to serve children in a spirit of communion between generations, supplemented with some semi-mobile furniture, like tables and chairs. Another platform is a parking lot that supports this set of equipment. In third platform fit the preexistence associated with water, in their complementary roles of extraction and storage.

The matrix where all this diversity of dynamics is developed takes essentially two languages at ground level to create different ways of living. To the North and East, the sidewalk assigns a circulation space of urban character, allowing the experience of the contiguous dwellings. To the East, the topography and development of space create the opportunity for the existence of a meadow that allows a different breathing space in the urban context, indicating a vicinity of a periphery characterized by almost abrupt rupture between services and the countryside.  Pedestrian flows can be made between and through the various platforms. All the space allows for intense pedestrian circulation, on the Eastern side, by the sidewalk materialization and, on the Western side, by the installation of a pedestrian circulation network that crosses the meadow.

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