The PastThis project is clearly a story – a story made up of stories of the sea and whale hunting in the Azores; a story of an island – the clear expression of insularity – closely related to the memory of a people and a tradition highly dignified in the past, both in human and professional terms. A story of a Whale Factory in ruins (one of the largest in the Azores), pleading to be more than a long forgotten heritage. Pleading to exist. Or resist… The Concept The story of an Environmental Interpretation Centre, from a didactic and pedagogic perspective, aims at showing “in loco” the space and the information associated with the conservation of marine life and the sustainable use of the Atlantic Ocean, the protection of biodiversity, the recovery of the coastal area and the revival of the whale world heritage and culture. The project resides in the conversion and extension of the Whale Factory, with no rivalry or pretension. Its concept and image derive from the old whale oil tank covers transformed into skylights – roof lanterns, which result in a volumetric composition from the outside, and the light/shadow contrasts from the inside. Here, the concept comprises two parts: a set of rooms (temporary and permanent exhibition rooms, video library, auditorium, virtual aquarium, gift shop...) and a floating walkway that links them all.
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