Architects: Ressano Garcia
- Area: 3520 ft²
- Year: 2015
Photographs:Ressano Garcia Arquitectos, Daniel Malhão, Vasco Célio, A Terceira Dimensão
Lead Architects: Pancho Guedes, João Magala
- Architect / Commissioner: Pedro Ressano Garcia
- Health And Safety Plan: Ricardo Palet Ferreira de Almeida
- Plan For The Prevention And Management Of Construction And Demolition Waste: Ricardo Palet Ferreira de Almeida
- Builder: Paulo Jorge
- City: Sagres
- Country: Portugal
Text description provided by the architects. The “Voz do Mar” is a chamber of sound on top of the geological fault, turned on by the tide.
Built in Sagres in the Algarve, Portugal, it is a very dramatic landscape where the land ends abruptly carved by the Atlantic Ocean. This territory is a sensitive place with major environmental constraints.
The project for the ephemeral installation, carried out in 2010, was designed by the architect Pancho Guedes (born in 1925) and commissioned by the architect Pedro Ressano Garcia. Later, in 2015, the rehabilitation project is carried out by Atelier Ressano Garcia Arquitectos.
The intervention at Sagres does not follow a regular category of a particular discipline. Is it an architectural building, a landscape intervention on the territory, or an art piece in land art format? It is hard to classify as one or the other, however, it has four rings centered from the cavity, the first ring on the outside contains long curved corridors of variable and adjusted height to the existing rocks on the ground, the foundations seem to belong and merge with the landscape. The walls gradually rise, in each ring, more tight and close to the center. The inner-circle acts as a resonance chamber. In its course there are several ways to get to the center which is the final destination because as Pancho Guedes explains, “The labyrinth is like life itself, one can be lost for some time, but always end up getting there”.
The visitor walks around before reaching the inner circle, where the feeling of the waves’ movement fills the space of the central chamber creating an intense resonance. The hole in the land is a natural geological fault that connects with the ocean located over 100 meters below. The gap allows the feeling of the waves as it is possible to hear their sound, and can be perceived as a call from the sea.
The circular walls rest over exterior foundations lintels that try to reproduce the same texture and color of local stone with concrete and shuttering plasticity. The paths between walls keep a permeable nature which creates a pavement that is not smooth but values the vibration and difficult surface of the rock. The entrance faces south, on the opposite side of the route, it is a hidden way in. When coming out from the corridors of the labyrinth the visitor stares at the surface of the ocean spread in all directions. This is not the last experience provided by the building, when we look from far, the intervention presents the image of an architecture that is elementary and yet difficult to date. For some, it seems a Neolithic monument, for others it can also be understood as a futuristic design made for the next century.
The title ‘Voz do Mar “contains a metaphor and holds, simultaneously one analogy. The designation of the sound produced by the movement of the waves as “voz” assumes a humane capability that provides a metaphor since the sea does not have a voice.