ARKxSITE has announced the winners of its call for ideas for a hypothetical contemporary Art Centre to be built in the Fortress of Cresmina in Cascais, Portugal. Open to architecture students and architects under 40 years of age, entrants were challenged to preserve the significant cultural, historical and landscape elements of the Fortress of Cresmina, celebrating the existing ruins to create a unique experience for visitors. The jury comprised Alberto Mottola, (demogo studio di architettura, Italy), Felipe Grallert (Felipe Grallert Arquitectos, Chile) and Rasmus Jessing (COBE, Denmark). See the third, second and first place winners after the break.
Third Place: Daniela Alejandra Guzmán Pino/Chile
The third place winner adopts an unusual approach, leaving the existing Fortress untouched and building the Art Centre underground. The Fortress of Cresmina becomes the main entrance of the new Art Centre, while three underground spaces join to become one, a view of the ocean becoming the shared end of all three.
Second Place: Penigaud Roman, Marien Gaillard, Fabien Leveque/France
Appearing from the outside to be a single volume, the second place entry floats above the existing ruins. The suspended first floor shades the ground floor beneath it and frames the surrounding landscape. Both exterior and interior spaces are usable for events. The jury also favourably appreciated “the regularity of the building that reacts against the character of the space defined by the existing walls and the rough materiality of the ruins of the fortress.”
First Place: Andrea Fortunato, Daniele Bonetti/Italy
Drawing from the existing enclosure, the ruins, the ocean, the sunlight and the wind, the first place proposal places a concrete monolith on the ground, encircled by the existing stone walls. By turning, a series of compressed and expanded spaces appear, forming sculpture gardens to be characterized by different themes. The monolith is pierced by a clean cut along a main axis, determining the position of the art gallery, creating a shadow space and path to the ocean. Light spots aligned to the sun’s zenith brighten art recessed in the walls.
The jury particularly appreciated the apparent simplicity of the project, which referred to the shape of the ancient fortress, as well as the elevation of the roof above the existing walls to create a new landmark: “Clear idea, strong shape and fine balance between respecting the outstanding qualities of the historic site and fortress and making a contemporary art center.”
Read more about the competition including all of the other entries here.