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'The Tagus is more beautiful than the river which flows through my village,
But the Tagus is not more beautiful than the river which flows through my village
Because the Tagus is not the river which flows through my village.

The Tagus has big vessels
And still upon its sails
For those who see in all things what is not there
The memory of ships

The Tagus comes down from Spain
And the Tagus flows into the sea off Portugal
Everyone knows that.
But few know about my village river
Or whence it goes
Or whence it comes.
And so, because it belongs to fewer people,
My village river is freer and greater.

Via the Tagus you can see the World.
Beyond the Tagus lies America
And the fortune of those who find it.
No-one has ever thought of what lies beyond
My village river.

My village river prompts no thoughts.
Who stands besides it merely stands beside it.'

Alberto Caeiro

The project is part of a vaster strategy of a cycling network which is being developed by the municipality of Lisbon. However, the relation with the city's harbor and the river Tagus sets forth an unique identity for this particular route. The heterogeneity of spaces and environments, the proximity or crossing of several industrial and monumental sites drive us to approach this place with caution and sobriety and, to determine exactly what is the space through which this route wanders about. There are conflicts because of the presence and characteristics of so many different surfaces associated with so many contexts which, on the other hand, have an important role in the construction of city's image and memory and its relation with the river. This acknowledgment took us to pursue a careful study of the successive layers and covers which were accumulated on the river bank in order to find a common ground and to produce a clearer and intenser image. The design lays down a reversible bicycle trail over the memory of the river bank, the city and the river itself in order to minimize conflicts with other mobility modes and to imprint an unmistakable route. The strategy first lined out by the municipality is accepted totally and with rigor. In addiction the project interprets the clarity of its linear form with a system of signs, impressions and incisions on the vast mosaic of preexisted or introduced surfaces. Communication, movement and experience become space attributes for the riparian city borders.

PROJECT DATE 2008 | COMPLETION 2009 | CLIENT APL Administração do Porto de Lisboa / Câmara Municipal de Lisboa / EDP | AREA 63 000 m2 | COST €1.000.000

TEAM coordination Global, arquitectura paisagista, lda. designers Global, arquitectura paisagista, lda_João Gomes da Silva and P06 atelier, ambientes e comunicação_Nuno Gusmão, Estela Pinto and Pedro Anjos collaborators Global: Catarina Raposo, Filipa Serra, João Félix, Leonor Cardoso, Monica Ravazzolo, Pedro Gusmão P-06: Giuseppe Greco, Vera Sachetti, Miguel Matos, Joana Posterio, Miguel Cochofel, Pedro Schreck, Clara Joana photographer © Silveira Ramos