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[OCO - Ocean & Coastline Observatory]

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

The 2011 Open Architecture Challenge, [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS, has provided the opportunity to reflect over some of the most prominent locations in our territory.

Trafaria is located on the estuary of Tagus River, on the opposite shore of Lisbon, the country’s capital. Counting with more than half of the countries’ population on the metropolitan area. It was understood that the community we should have in mind is a wide rage of the population, and for that reason the new utility for the military’s facilities should reflect a common interest of the national population, a common heritage.

Trafaria’s 5th batteries are part of a large network of buildings build for the military protection of the Portuguese coastline.
The site is technically a serie of entrenched bunkers armed with heavy navy cannons. Build to last; it’s made of concrete walls and iron slabs, with simple stonework in the eaves, stairs, windows and doors openings.
Ironically these building made to last, became abandon, including the artillery pieces, since then neither the navy/army or local authorities had plans for it’s future.

So, it would be most logic that the civic program taking place, replacing the military, should still maintaining it’s previous calling, a building set on top of a hill, turned to the seas, for coastline preservation, now in a civic, ecological and sustainable way. Trafaria's 5th batteries of the Coast Artillery Regiment (RAC) should host the Ocean and Coastline Observatory, (OCO)!

The OCO should be a place to supervise the sustainable preservation of the coast, and near sea-zone, a place were different communities of the population, (residents, scientist, researchers, fisherman, sportsmen, students, etc), could meet and share their concerns, plans and ambitions for the coastline.


TRAFARIA, Lisboa 2825-887

Competition Details

  • Name: Open Architecture Challenge: [UN]Restricted Access
  • Host: Architecture for Humanity
  • Type: Public
  • Registration Deadline: May 01 2012
  • Submission Deadline: June 01 2012
  • Entry Fee: $50 USD Professionals , $25 USD Students , $0 USD Dues paying Architecture for Humanity Chapter members , $0 USD Developing Nations
  • Award: More than $5,000 in prizes
  • Status: Concluded

The competition entry ID for this project is 12490.

Project Details

NAME: [OCO - Ocean & Coastline Observatory]
PROJECT LEAD: Joao Segurado
START DATE: March 12, 2012
COST: $185500 USD (Estimated)
SIZE: 435635 sq. m
PROJECT TYPE: Urban Planning
BENEFICIARIES: Lisbon and Trafaria citizens.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: The site is located in the Costa da Caparica Fossil-Cliff Protected Landscape, 1570 hectares of protected area that extends along the coast with ecological and paleontological interest. The proposal sought to establish an organization sensible to the protected area, enabling its appropriation. This humanization of the natural space should take place through passive methods, working only with autochthonous species, preserving the ecosystems. It should be supported by the integration of a few pieces of furniture (benches, trash can etc), outdoor lighting, scientific didactic equipment, and a network of pedestrian paths that aim a balanced and monitored natural environment, that can enjoyable by the all comunity. Being a place inserted in a protected area and meant for science, it would be even more logic that the building integrate some sustainable and bioclimatic principles. The buiding’s green roofs work already as an efficient architectonic element, protecting it from the sun radiation, and providing fresh interiors. But updating the water management, the energy supplies and the organic waste, should be serious concerns. Thereby it is proposed tree different systems, a water an sewage, energy, and a organic waste manage. The water & sewage management contemplates a rainwater harvesting system for watering gardens and cleaning in general; a septic tank for sewage treatment. The Energy management aims to make the building be compleatly independent, producing energy with photovoltaic panels, and biomass from the forests and gardens. The waste management pretends to create a organic waste cycle between the kitchen, the coposting tank and the garden. It also prepares the rest of the non-organic waste for recycling.

About Our Partners

Sponsorship Needed We're continuing our recruitment of individuals and organizations who are ready to accept the mission of sponsoring the complex yet rewarding task of successfully transforming previously conflicted sites into civic spaces. If you are ready to enlist your financial resources in service of this greater good, please call us at 415.963.3511 or contact us.