Status: Competition (2015)
Clasification: 2 prize
Location: Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal
Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
Types: Cultural, Museum
Surrounded by hills and extensions of fields Montemor-o-Novo is located in a very accessible area between Lisbon, capital of Portugal, and Évora, capital of the region where is situated. The village has grown up with regular and geometrical edifications but in the centre it remains the old town with narrow streets that with non-difficulty goes up to the hill overcoming the topography.
The hill emerges in a privileged location near the river Almansor. Because of its strategic situation and elevation it was the cradle of the village and, occupied since an undetermined epoch, it still remains lots of archaeological and architectonical remains that has been preserved and show us the remnant of different civilisations.
It assumed a prominent role in defence and its fortified wall has been appropriated for other constructions making the barrier more robust. Four towers, nineteen turrets, four entries, three churches and a convent lean on the wall. The four doors are oriented towards the cardinal points, and they define the main paths as two axis intersecting in the middle of the hill.
With the intention of non-modifying the atmosphere of the hill the museum is placed at the perimeter hided by the topography and completing the wall connecting two existent pieces and incorporate an historical piece with an extraordinary vaults trying to protect them from the exterior conditions and giving to the hall an important significance.
The museum works as a lineal piece as the wall it tries to connect. It is covered by the topography and its discovered as a new ruin. According the program the spaces are displayed in three bands. The big spaces remains in contact with the opaque barrier helping to control the light disposing skylights and patios to solve the requirements.
The private spaces are located in a second band separated of the public spaces by a line of water with the contribution of a gradient skylight. The third band, the retaining wall, is filled with the services, storages and equipment. Breaking the bar appears the connections; patios, paths and the hall. Those breakings divide the program by use. Detailed description of the spaces.
Covered exterior space used as an open-air exhibition.
Space with important significance by the incorporation of an historical vaults and its unic window to the views.
With the intention of providing a unique experience to the visitors the light has been studied with accuracy. Protecting those spaces from the west orientation the light will enter from an strategic skylights, low windows from the patios and low windows from the middle line of the reflecting water.
Domestic spaces with controlled direct light through the paths from the patios and from the skylight above the waterline.