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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mata do Cabo Swimming Pool, St Joao da Pesqueira, Portugal

Camping for hunters and gatherers
This building is a swimming-pool and sanitary facilities for the Mata do Cabo Leisure Park at St João da Pesqueira, Portugal. The park has a swimming-pool, camping, a basketball / football field, a tennis court and a Mediterranean forest — now an urban park. Downhill, the architects designed a football stadium.

The building replaces the old facilities of the existing swimming-pool, which was rebuilt, repaved and kept in its original site, above street level. It becomes somehow a “wall-building”, the public face of the park. The main feature of this project was the challenge of adapting in a single building different public spaces for different users (swimming-pool, camping, sports fields, restaurant, bar, urban park), whose paths cross or go parallel around the building, without mixing.

Raising the building without destroying the hilly landscape was another challenge. In order to achieve that, the building was organized functionally by levels, according to the public open spaces it connects to and should serve, with long and leveled paths, vertically connected by the elevator (for handicapped users only). The building is strongly connected to the site: local stone clads the main facades in a traditional technique, continuing under the long canopy suspended over the sports field seats, shading the swimming-pool terrace underneath.

The camping park, located on the sloping hill, was organized in leveled platforms built with the very own ground stones inside mesh boxes, keeping the average configuration of the former landscape. The forest was left intact.
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