Environment Museum

Gaia, Portugal
Competition Entry
TEKK – PortugalA3R – EngenhariaFLUI MEPBaum AtelierAmplitude AcousticsEdifícios Saudáveis
The new Environment Museum aims to become a landmark, not only for its conceptual approach but mainly for its engagement with the city, its local characteristics, and nature: committing to fundamental vectors as urban harmony, social and economic endorsement, and smart–bioclimatic design. The proposal envisages a green veil being created over the entire plot, offering a qualified public space for the local community and the stage for the new museum. This space shares with the city all it's potential in its different uses and occupations. Throughout the park, one will find the reminiscences of the existing structures, monuments, and ruins of the old ceramic production halls. These can be contemplated from above: the old chimneys and furnaces become integrated within the park and museum. The roof becomes a topography and accessible for everyone. Museums require an admission fee, and only a few will visit its content. But not in this one: the museum is seen from inside out here. The topographic roof is perforated and partially allows light to come inside the museum. Simultaneously, it establishes a visual connection between the indoor and outdoor areas. The park and the museum become one: nature grows down and enters through the patios, becoming an active exhibition element. This design aims to foster a harmonious relationship between the visitors and their environment. The museum has its fundamental principles of functionality, valuing nature, balance, and aesthetics, offering a new green space to this parish. It shall promote a temporal dynamism and an assortment of experiences for users throughout all seasons of the year. But mainly, it should raise the principles of biodiversity and bioclimatic designs. The existing structures of the old ceramic industrial halls and the remaining earth should be used as an integrating part of the new design. The old brick walls become the new walls of the main exhibition spaces, like the earth, which can be transformed into the green roof's soil. With the Environment Museum in Gaia (Porto, Portugal), we reuse, reduce and reproduce resources, thinking on a local scale, with responsible and social measures.