architecture : theory and strategy

coast wise europe, porto workshop

object coast wise europe porto workshop subject workshop date september 1998 words design for parque da cidade pages - author christiaan weiler thanks to the staff of the porto university, and nuno grande and pedro gadanho in particluar

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tutor Christiaan Weiler NL
students Kristina HR, Mateja SLO, Nicolina HR, Ana P, Ceser P, Mihkel EST, Ricardo P

In our design for the city park we combine our personal approaches with the analysis of the metropolitan area, and we came up with this park.

Qualities and Atmospheres

1/ Parque da Cidade
We thought that Porto would need a big park because there is no such large green place at this moment. We make it a large open and continuous place with which we provide the city with a view of the ocean and it´s view qualities. The openness is emphasised by filling the valley with trees which creates a continuous planted area together with the green edge on the Boa Vista side. Next to this there is a continuous open space that lookes over the tops of the trees to the hill and from the hill to the coast and the sea. On the Matosinhos side we put a string of different elements that make a half open edge zone.

2/ Four edges
We thought of the edges of te park on all sides.
a/ park - Foz
We connect the park with Foz by entering to the park through a green entrance that continues the Esplanadas of Foz with a green area on the Boa Vista side. This green area is also a continuation of the profile of the Boa Vista by enlarging the villa-trees tissue from the Foz hill into the park. There is an opening at the east side for an entrance and a view from the Boa Vista into the park.
b/park - Sea
The connection between the sea and the park is the view. We cover the street and bring the park to the ocean. At the edge also the beach comes into the view. Cars that pass under the balcony have a nice framed view of Matosinhos and the ocean.
c/park - Matosinhos
The edge of Matosinhos is treated as an entertainment area where the buildt structure of Matosinhos and the park tissue are equally present. In this alternated strip there is room for activities and green spaces to attract the people to the park.
d/park - Porto
On the city side of the park we make a connection to Porto by building tourist facilities like hotels etc. The busyness and activity can be seen as an attractor for people to come from the ocean to the park.

5/ Vegetation plan
As we said earlier we connect the Foz green area with the park. By planting different trees we could have different sensations that continue from Foz to the Boa Vista side of the park to the east entrance and on the other side of the park. The variety of types of vegetation represent a variety of atmospheres found in different European climate areas. The cultural programme of 2001 can be found in the park in a lasting and durable way.

6/ Theatre as a programme model
On this whole map of different sensations we put the functional map that compares the park with a theatre where the sea is the scene. The lower part of the park is the auditorium towards the sea and the upper part is the lobby with different offered facilities. There is also the entrance from the Porto and a main parking.

7/ Entrances
As earlier mentioned we have four entrances which according to all other qualities got their names from the part they are in. So we have the green entrance at Foz, an entertainment entrance at Matosinhos, a cultural entrance with a sculpture garden at the cultural centre in the renovated village and last but not least, a business entrance at the Boa Vista side, because of the business center nearby on the Boa Vista. These people will probably use the park for the lunch break and from the entrance they will find the bars on the left side and the hotels and restaurants on the right side.

8/ Bridge
After our analysis of traffic we decided that we need the road through the park that connects from Foz to Matosinhos and to the IP4. This highway connection and the growing residential area of Matosinhos together with the wish to relieve the coastal road made that we need the road. But we didn´t want to break the park and that´s when we decided to make a bridge over the valley and the Boa Vista and then a tunnel through the hill to Matosinhos. In that way our idea of the necessity for a large open city park wouldn`t be ruined. The bridge can be an element framing the green in the valley and the tunnel allows a clear passage over the hill. Also there is this play of the bridge-tunnel to Matosinhos that first gives a view of the park and the ocean, suddenly you are in the tunnel and then you come into Matosinhos through a dramatic entrance.

3/ Technique - Nature = Matosinhos - Park
We also considered the idea of contrast between technique and nature and its effect for the view and the park. Rectangular boxes with different facilities that emphasize the organic morphology of the park, guide the paths from the park towards the sea and further to the beach and make a connection with Matosinhos and the port.

4/ Step by Step Scenography
When coming from the green Foz area and the urban Matosinhos area a direct view of the back of the park is impossible. So we have to make shorter steps, by putting electronic panels into the park that frame the view at the entrance area. People will be walking from one sensation to another.

9/ Cultural Capital 2001
A rough research of possibilities for the Cultural Capital programme delivered some ideas for colonisation of the park. The activities might be called: Marine- Business- Politics- and History- presentations. The Marine presentations could have a contemporary face when thinking of a surf event at the Matosinhos shore that would need facilities.
A big Multi Purpouse Hall can be imagined at the side of the even larger Matosinhos flats.
The presence of political and trade activity around the event asks for high class facilities. A five star hotel, conference rooms and of course a parking place at the side of the Boa Vista Business centre seems logical. Exhibitions connected to the history of Porto could find place in the old renovated village north east. The presence of the new bridge can also be presented as a continuation of an old Porto tradition of bridges. All sides of the park will have to be serviced by info points and all kinds of small scale services.