THE IMAGINARY MUSEUM
Escola Superior Artística do Porto
Alfândega's Cultural Centre
The present project consists in the development of a cultural space within an historic area of the city of Oporto which has been suffering from growing abandonment and degradation.
The intervention site is located in a privileged area, with a strong relationship with the Douro river, but currently unused and closed to the city, functioning as a car park. Alfândega's Cultural Centre is constituted by two new buildings - a museumand a media library - which are complementary to the Congress Centre and the Museum of Transportation and Communications, both present in the Alfândega building. Hence, we intend to present an infrastructure that is capable of stimulating this area of the city, aiming for the possible rehabilitation of the surrounding areas. The museum's building appears with the intention of creating adequate exhibition spaces, complementary to those of the Alfândega. The intervention's philosophy for the new building is sort of opposite to that of the Alfândega's building; we intended to create a more open and permeable construction, seeking to give this space back to the city. The building was thought as a long body, elevated from the ground, supported in two points, which would host the exhibition rooms, safeguarding the exhibited masterpieces from the floodings this area is subjected to. The building's vertical bodies originated in the need to create wider spaces that would allow for the entrance of filtered light, at the same time being a reflection of the city's skyline. The media library was conceived as a sort of "wi-fi palace", inside which the use of new technologies would take place in order to create an experience different from the usual. We intend that this building's attractiveness potential leads to a constant occupation of this space and the ones surrounding it, fostering the return of people to this part of the city.