Over the Lines

lema barros + castelo branco, arquitectos
Monday 02 Nov 2009

Implanted on Forca Hill, atelier Lema Barros + Castelo Branco conceive a monument to The Lines

From the will to promote and give new life to the historical landmark represented by The Lines of Torres Vedras, the architecture atelier Lema Barros + Castelo Branco has conceived this architecture project with which pretends to highlight both the city importance of the city and The Lines (lines of forts built in secrecy to defend Lisbon during the Peninsular War).

The project is a Monument / Lines of Torres Museological Centre which is focused on the knowledge and revitalization of the major military works enhancing the region’s cultural and touristic development. The interior of the building is composed of several spaces concerned with the study and interpretation of the Lines of Torres and on the outside the building stands as a monument to this moment of European History.

The location, at one of the most advanced points of the Lines, allows its visibility from several points of the city and forms a third vertex of the Choupal triangle, together with the Castle and S. Vicente Fort.

The structure is composed of a series of apparently unbalanced prisms, giving a feeling of insecurity and catastrophe and aims to bring into visitors mind the war drama being, at the same time, a hymn to the people who built and lived behind the Lines of Torres.

From the parking plot the visitor’s movements become strictly pedestrian. From the rehabilitation redoubt or going around it, the gathering point is a ceremonial square: the main element is a water mirror wich reflects both structures – the Forca Redoubt and the Monument – depending on the visitor’s position.

After the ground level, one reaches the foyer reception, under the built volumes. Around this space are located a library, a computer room, a reading / study room and other complementary spaces. From this level, a rising itinerary crosses the several exhibition rooms which end in the auditorium, after passing a terrace where one can see and read the Lines of Torres, with several of its most significant works, the surrounding landscape and its relation with the City.

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