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´RIBEIRA DAS NAUS´ RIVERFRONT PUBLIC SPACE | LISBON | PORTUGAL

The place of Ribeira das Naus is central and essential to Local, National and World culture. The place can be described as the Mythic Arsenal were ships were build or repaired before initiating the discovery of new maritime routes between Europe and the rest of the world, beginning the first movement of Globalization. Ribeira das Naus has always been a twin brother of the next space known in the past as Terreiro do Paço (the field of the Royal Palace), a huge empty space relating Town, the Royal Palace, and the sandy margin of the River Tejo. After the big heart quake of 1755, the most of down town was destroyed, not only by the impressive cataclysm of trembling, but also by a submerging tsunami, followed by a big fire. The entire city was then subjected to an Illuminist plan of reconstruction trough which, aristocrat and religious power were spatially subjected to a new rationalist order. Surprisingly the most of the landscape elements on place (dock, shipyard platforms, and a dry dock) persisted in the new design scheme, as it is visible in the prolific iconography and cartography that reached us. In spite of the Imperial scale and atmosphere that characterizes the new twin square renamed Praça do Comercio, the Place of Ribeira das Naus remained until 1940 with the same typology of spatial elements. Only then, when this mysterious and almost inaccessible place was trimmed of the direct contact with the River Tejo by a new avenue for car circulation, its structure and order were transfigured and its sense lost. Our project, shared with landscape studio PROAP, history research unit of Lisbon Universidade Nova and maritime engineers, proposed to redefine the place by re-aligning the bank of the river; reorganizing traffic and pedestrian circulation along with the new Lisbon cycling system; redefine the spatial relation with the Navy Admiralty that occupies since ever the space; and proposing an timeless contemplation of fossilized elements buried under layers of time and earth. This tension between elements from the past (docks, shipyard ramps, etc), and the new design language introduced will create a new vibrant space of circulation and contemplative permanence of the elements of memory and a new style of living the presence of the river.


PROJECT DATE 2009 | CLIENT Sociedade Frente Tejo, SA | AREA 52 000 m2 | COST €7.500.000 (estimate)

TEAM project consortium Global Arquitectura Paisagista Lda + PROAP Estudos e projectos de Arquitectura paisagista Lda authors João Gomes da Silva, João Ferreira Nunes and Carlos Ribas project management Parque Expo SA collaborators Ana Marques, Miguel Domingues, Pedro Gusmão, Filipa Serra, Leonor Cardoso, Susana Frazão, Miguel Sousa, Magda Gonçalves, Bernardo Faria, Mafalda Silva, Nuno Jacinto, Sílvia Basílio architecture Miguel Chalbert Structures José Pernão (Proman), Miguel Villar (Betar) water infrastructure Grade Ribeiro lighting F. Gusmão (Lightplan) infrastructure Joule