Public Art Gallery
Concept Complete 2016
Mértola is a town situated inside a grandiose citadel wall first built by the Romans. The wall was later increased in size by the Moors to protect the town from rival Christian and Muslim states. Although impressive, the citadel wall no longer serves it original purposes as a defensive fortification. In fact, it strikes a foreboding line between the town of Mértola and the Guadiana River below. So much so that the impressive ruins at the base of the wall have been all but forgotten.
Our project proposes to activate the historical significance of the citadel wall, the ruins at its base and the shoreline of the Guadiana River as a continuous urban experience of Mértola. We blurred the boundary of interior and exterior with a monolithic ground-plain that connects the gallery to a large public plaza and amphitheatre. This allows for a visual and tactile compression of the citadel wall, the river, the ruins, and the view beyond into the gallery experience. The plaza surface is then connected to Mértola above through the existing network of pedestrian ramps and service roads.