Architects: Pedro Pacheco + Marie Clément
Location: Luz, Mourão, Portugal
Anthropology: Clara Saraiva
Engineering: G.O.P. – Gabinete de Organização e Projectos, Lda.
Lighting engeneering: Raul Serafim
Landscape Architecture: Sebastião Pereira
Client: E.D.I.A. – Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-estruturas do Alqueva, S.A.
Constructed Area: 820 sqm
Budget: US $ 800,000.00
Project year: 1998-2000
Construction year: 2000-2002
Photographs: Dora Nogueira & FG+SG
To displace a cemetery means not only transporting it’s tombs but equally it’s memory and rituals consolidated over the times.
The old cemetery’s regular and geometric figure, which follow the ground pendent is reproduced. The vicinities between tombs are maintained as place recognition elements, as well as their orientation, in order to return light and shadow conditions, associated to visit rituals. The four quarters that organise the old cemetery structure and describe its growth history are preserved as platforms adapted to the new relief, which permit to drain pluvial waters. The 24 tomb types identified are maintained.
The ensemble of these elements establish an imaginary transported into a new topography, as a massive carpet materialised in a pavement made of white marble waste peaces settle cutlass. This thick and bright pavement gives body to the cemetery. Between this mineral carpet and the long white walls, emerges an earth interval where the cypresses are planted.
To the west, in the extension of the public traditional schist path, a contemplation place looks towards the new submerged landscape. This place is a result of various orientation and access site priorities, and is a antechamber which doubles the cemetery entrance: the one defined by the enclosed limits is marked by the old recycled portal, and the interior one is marked by a white marble massive step settle over the earth interval as a sign of the old cemetery entrance.