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.