Re-qualification and Redevelopment of the Beach and Seafront of Figueira da Foz and Buarcos Proposal / Labor4plus

Courtesy of

In the proposal for the Re-qualification and Redevelopment of the Beach and Seafront of and Buarcos by Labor4plus, the large expanse of the beach offers the unique opportunity to redefine the esplanade and to make better use of the beach as a public space. Their design envisions a landscape park which represents a natural passage from the beach to the city with its dunes and pine groves, which invites users to stay and offers various spaces for recreational activities. These spaces are connected on the one hand to the city and also with each other by beach trails. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of Labor4plus

The structural interference and areas of intensive public use are concentrated along important marks relevant to town planning along a connecting esplanade. Outlooks with different themes and functions are inserted into the beach area. They interlock the city with the beach and provide a view onto the sea and a barrier-free access to the beach. The concept conveys between landscape and populated spaces and connects urban landscape with natural spaces in divergent ways. The ultimate aim is a unity of urban life, touristic use and natural spaces.

plan 01


The coastal landscape is grouped by a dune area, consisting of foredunes, white dunes, green dunes and a brown dune composed of pine trees (Pinus pinea). The sedimentation is initiated by sand trap fences and consolidated by planting of sand-sedge (Ammophila arenaria). A protected rearward area is created by the successive accretion of sand and growing height of the dunes. This space in the shade of the pine groves with its large and smaller glades can be used extensively for sports and recreation.

plan 02

Local public infrastructure:

The allotment system leads the visitors directly across footbridges and a overriding beach path through the landscape, thereby protecting the dunes from overexploitation. The beach path winds in-between the dune area and the pine park and connects the overviews and the sports and leisure facilities. There are resting places and small pass-overs into the dune zone and the pine park. The pier and footpaths provide direct access to the sea, facilities such as changing rooms, showers as well as a diving tower for the bathers.

plan 03


The divided lanes of the Av. do Brazil will be connected so that a grass strip is added to the esplanade and can be used as a part of the park. To both sides of the street parking areas will be provided. Parking will be at right angle to the road in order to accommodate the summer afflux. A broad footway as well as a bike trail will be added to the esplanade which is bounded towards the beach area by a wall.

plan 04

Modular architecture:

The ‘architectural Equipment’ is mainly characterized by its modular construction. The system is based on a square grid of 7.50×7,50 m and can be extended in all directions. The base is formed by a solid concrete module, which contains the necessary installation connections (water, electricity). The individual modules can be designed according to needs. Possible functions are kitchens, changing rooms, toilets, terraces, etc. The individual modules are statically held by a steel structure that is closed with coated wood panels. The openings may be formed as hinged windows, bars or ramps.

phases of development diagram

Environmental requirements | Coastal protection:

The coast of Figueira da Foz is constantly influenced by the geomorphological processes of wind, waves and tide. The current lack of zoning of the beach fosters an ongoing coastal erosion which brings about strong drifts into the mainland. The erosion are further forwarded by structural interference and human use. Unimpeded sand storms cause dilapidations.

labora4plus: Jan Adolph, Florian Alles, Dirk Hamann, Franziska Schieferdecker

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Re-qualification and Redevelopment of the Beach and Seafront of Figueira da Foz and Buarcos Proposal / Labor4plus" 01 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>