Chard is a selected entry for an ideas competition proposed by the Lisbon Triennale of Architecture.

The competition was aking architects to propose innovative ways of space organization for the interior space of the old Santa Clara Market in Lisbon, Portugal. The Campo de Santa Clara is an urban environment defined by its vast space open towards the Tejo river. A new use for the old market could be a fulcrum for the neighborhood life and for all the people living in this area.

Our proposal started from a Lisbon collective memory reference. We’ve been fascinated by the amount of clothes hanged out between different buildings of Lisbon narrow streets. Walking down the streets sorrounding the old market we had a feeling of beeing under a light roof of clothes of different density and different colours. The great portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa described these ephimeral landscape in a beautiful poem called A roupa estendida ao vento.

A roupa estendida ao vento, Parece gente a viver (…)
(…) E lembro, a semelhança que há entre a agitação intensa,da roupa livre e suspensa e aquela em que o homem está.
Ao sol e ao vento da vida Livre e preso sob os céus Oscila, coisa movida, Mas é só roupa estendida.

This poem resume our conceptual approach which has been materialized by a system of big movable curtains reminding the Lisbon streets clothes. The horizontal and vertical curtains define very important themes as flexibility, porosity and space reversibility, we consider so much important to guarantee the different use of this space.

The new curtains system will be realized taking advantage from the beautiful existing steel-frame stucture we decided to respect and to use as a space organization mould. Our proposal is an un-hierarchical space occupation which offer 4 indipendent spaces (kitchen – restaurant – meeting room – shop) divided by vertical curtains that can be lift up to completely change the interior space division.

Reversibility is a very important theme for us and we arrived to a project where every event could take place. A big lecture, a party, a shared dinner, an exposition or other contemporary events could find in this new place a building where everything is possible.
All the circulation system has been pushed on an external path totaly indipendent from the different use of the building.

Big white curtains are the image of the building and the theme who keep the project coherent, the curtains movement allows people to a total freedom of use and the external circulation offers a clear and indipendent people movement. All these themes generates an iconic image of space very related with the existing building and the memory of the city of Lisbon.