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  • Beta Architecture
    studio specialized in
    unbuilt architecture

Our work.
Collection.

The climb that takes place in the urban scene of the popular Feira da Ladra that goes from the National Pantheon to the Church of São Vicente de Fora, defines a route that is in the imaginary and culture of the population of Lisbon and remains in the memory of those who visit them. Once, the Santa Clara Market was an integral part of this route, functioning as a singular moment of gathering and staying; today it is a building that lives abroad only, with outlying shops open to the street, and which, in exceptional and conditioned moments, receives activities that lead to the opening of the central hall to the public.

The project proposes a tear in the ship with the intrusion of a tier of benchs. The bench is interpreted as the archetype of cultural activity. When we think about a projection of a football game or a movie, a theatre or a dance performance, a recital of poetry or a book presentation, a debate, a class or a gastronomic event, a sportive event or even a fair the bench is the element with the widest range of appropriations.

The bench connects the exhibition and contemplative spaces. The spatial relations of a fair are based on the existence of a space of passage from where one contemplates and of an exhibition space where the articles on sale are exposed. The proposal for the hall seeks to introduce the same logic of spatial relations: an exhibition space that is defined by the appropriation area; and a contemplative space that is defined by the tier of benchs.

The bench is proposed as a longitudinal element. Its placement and orientation reinforce the reading of the visual depth between the two ends of the hall, giving expression to the Santa Clara Market as a continuity of the route of the Feira da Ladra. Simultaneously, its magnificence and its relation to the space that surrounds it invite an appropriation of conviviality and permanence. In addition, its position also aims to take advantage of the natural light that invades the hall by the upper glazing. The area under the bench receives a filtered light clarifying two distinct ambiances.

The bench reflects a purpose for discovery. This is designed as a gesture of extending the twowater roof from the peripheral volume to the interior of the space. This design suggests the interest of the ascent to the level of the upper glazing that will allow to unveil a view that is composed by the dome of the National Pantheon in contrast with the blue of the sky.

The bench contains an idea of defragmentation. On one hand (visual): in which the bench starts from a logic of greater opacity and magnitude for greater permeability and fluidity in the longitudinal axis. On the other hand (physical): which translates into a longitudinal range at the level of the first three steps where the bench is a sum of parts that can be removed and disassociated, moving to the free space of the hall.

The bench incorporates and condenses the fixed programs. On the west side the restaurant is inserted. From the service entrance there is a corridor of technical spaces associated with the operation of the restaurant culminating in the kitchen. The kitchen is the first great moment where there is a direct relationship with the hall: the service and stacking counter is related to a horizontal feature that allows visual contact between who serves and who is served.

This relationship can also be physical, since the lower part of the bench can be repositioned allowing different operating possibilities: a service counter or an open and participative kitchen for classes or events. From the nascent side, is the area more directed to spaces of sale and commerce. This area includes sales modules, designed to add the necessary functionality to the store and take advantage of the bench structure as a space for the exhibition of articles. Intermediating these two programs, there is the bar and cafeteria space, at the center point of the bench.

The bench could be intersected create autonomous parts. The development of the different programs in the extension of the bench is related to a logic of vertical planes (curtains) that intersect it. In situations where it is desired to make independent programs for more specific uses that may occur simultaneously, they allow segregation and make more controlled areas of the hall.

The bench is a composition of metal and wood. Designed in light metal structure logic, it is made up of different profiles and fittings, with punctual metal fixings to the floor and walls, with the intention of allowing as much freedom as possible for the use of its lower area. The orange color associated with the new bench structure emerges as a point of contrasting relationship with the preexisting green structure while maintaining a dialogue of mutual imposition. All the skin that covers the structure is proposed to be materialized with panels of plywood, in contrast to the existing materials, giving it a character of greater comfort.

The bench insinuates. Suggest solitary acts: drinking a coffee, reading a newspaper, listening to music or climbing to enjoy the sunset. It suggests common acts: eating, talking, socializing. It suggests multiplicity of scales: the scale of the small shop, which appropriates a piece of the bench to sell momentarily, and the scale of a large event, such as the projection of a national team football game, where the bench and the hall are related in one event. It is a public, egalitarian, transversal space where everyone looks, everyone meets, everyone communicates.