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Plant Breeding and Genetics Centre, Carnide, Lisbon

Part 2 Project 2010
Ana-Maria Drughi
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism Bucharest Romania
Part of a bigger urban intervention over the area of Carnide, located in the North-Western part of Lisbon, Portugal, the Plant Breeding and Genetics Center (PBGC) is the answer the area needed, a combined use of functions and innovation gathered together in a group of buildings.

The urban cluster from the study area was formed around farm lands, in the early times, before the Great Earthquake in the 18th century, in 1755. After the earthquake, the area was submitted to an intense urbanization process, as many of the Lisbon’s inhabitants wanted to move away from the affected area, located next to the river Tagus, in the South of Lisbon. Due to this migration, the area was part of the Reconstruction Plan, and a public plaza is born in 1899, Largo da Luz.

As a response to its historical character, the urban proposal comes to enhance it, by giving the area more living space and green space, built in a variety of forms as an Urban Green Lounge (an urban park, an experimental skunked yard, leveled terraces of the condominiums). This chain of functions are linked by interstitial space, that offers a spatial experience while crossing it. You start from the historical Largo da Luz, you enter the experimental yard of the PBGC where you are submitted to interact with various spaces and information; after gathering that info you are exposed to the relaxing area of the urban park.

The project’s goal is increasing the public’s awareness on the research activity and its importance in everyday life, thus the juxtaposition of the facility with a conference center and a public library, posed along the perimeter of a sunken experimental yard. Covering this yard, the person is exposed to different layers of information, arranged over stripes of activities and textures (the covered space, the ramps, the leisure area, the green spaces, the info areas etc). This itinerary offers the pedestrian an alternative route across the Carnide area, an urban by-pass, knowledge and leisure space, a living museum presenting the process of research and its reflection in people’s life.

Ana-Maria Drughi

This project explores the research activity and its impact on people and their everyday life. It is an attractive and ambitious idea due to the innovative perspective that people should be more involved and aware of this type of activity.

It is situated in an historical area of Lisbon and has a special relationship to the context; the major lines are dictated by the old urban tissue and they follow and reinterpret the important characteristics . The urban intervention is the result of an original and critical analysis of the selected area, which shows a mature way of thinking and interpreting the area and its characteristics.

The coherent and connected spaces invite the public into an outdoor experience of knowledge and senses, through a spatial movement of the buildings and their exterior spaces (public plazas, experimental yards, green spaces). The contemporary design of the buildings has continuity in the outdoor spaces, offering an attractive itinerary crossing an area that today is almost dead. The area is revived, renewed and regenerated by its own functions; nothing new is inserted, everything is a reinterpretation of its characters and history.

Prof Dan Corneliu Serban
• Page Hits: 7363         • Entry Date: 25 July 2010         • Last Update: 01 September 2010