Location: Castelo Novo, Fundão, Portugal
Project Team: Luís Miguel Correia, Nelson Mota, Susana Constantino with Vanda Maldonado
Client: Fundão Municipality
Engineering: Direcção-Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais (DGEMN)
Building Contractor: General Contractor: STAP – Reparação, Consolidação e Modificação de Estruturas, S.A.
Landscape: Serrasqueiro e Filhos, lda
Project Area: 3,650 sqm
Project Year: 2003-2008
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra
The project’s brief requested the conservation and valorization of Castelo Novo’s Castle and surroundings. Moreover, it suggested also the creation of a space where people and visitors could enjoy it as a place of permanence. To answer these demands, the design solution created a “body” without a rigid boundary, organic, working independently of the existing structures but using them as a support. The construction was designed as a continuous abstract object, non-identifiable with a unique and specific purpose.
The object changes with the characteristics of the site. While in the church’s square it acts as a volume defining the limits, in the interior of the Castle’s walls, its shape is transformed into a pavement layer with ramps and stairs creating a pedestrian pathway which is suspended from the ground by metallic structure. This solution allows the visitors to admire the archeological findings without damaging them. The pathway finishes in the castle’s Main Tower where a “steel box” was inserted in its interior containing a multimedia room. This box allows also the creation of a platform where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the landscape. All the construction was made using lightweight metal structures which can allow a clear distinction of the new object from the existing structures and, at the same time, the reversibility of the operation.