- Design Team : Joana Barrelas, Rodolfo Reis, Ariadna Nieto, Ângelo Branquinho, Hugo Nascimento, Inês Carrapiço, José Maria Lavena, Laura Palma, Miguel Travesso.
- Rehabilitation Consultant : José Aguiar
- Total Cost : 1.000.000,00 €
- Client : Câmara Municipal de Arraiolos
- Architect In Charge : Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay, Tiago Filipe Santos
- City : Arraiolos
- Country : Portugal
The Tapestry Museum in Arraiolos occupies an existent building that once was Espírito Santo Hospital. The building is located in the main square of Arraiolos (Lima de Brito Square), a small town in Alentejo, Portugal. This public space streamlines the town’s social and cultural life. It gathers the Municipality and some commercial services. The Tapestry Museum contributes to consolidate the character of the square as qualified public space, in the urban tissue of Arraiolos.
The existent building congregates a diversity of interventions and transformations registered along its history. Some of its features needed to be preserved and integrated in the rehabilitation process. The project is based on the adaptation of a contemporary architectural language to the existent building, in order to guarantee a consistent exhibition path explaining the process of making Arraiolos’ Tapestries and their history.
The rehabilitation process was developed in compliance with functional programme requirements and technology demands. The programme is organized according to a central axis which contains the access and distribution areas. The central distribution space establishes the connection between the three main public areas of the building (temporary exhibition / multipurpose room on the ground floor; exhibition area on the first floor and education services on the ground floor). This space is considered the core of the Tapestry Museum. The architectonic features of the space rely on its double height and vaulted ceiling. The existence of window like openings and passages allows a diversity of visual connections through the core to the surrounding areas.
In the ground floor of the building, the vaulted ceilings were preserved. In the multipurpose room the structural system was remade with metallic beams, according to a contemporary architectonic language. The intervention in the first floor ceilings was more comprehensive. All the roof area was replaced by a set of ceilings shaped as “inverted funnels” with a skylight on the top. The structure of the roof was maintained only in one room, characterized by a sequence of wood trusses topped by a long skylight.
There’s a new light over the old Espírito Santo Hospital, coming from the new Tapestry Museum, a building that enhances the cultural life of Arraiolos.