Universidade de Lisboa -
Faculdade de Arquitectura
Located in northern Mozambique, the Mozambique Island is in 1991, classified world heritage by UNESCO. Since then, started a process of awareness of the value of its assets and the urgency of its preservation.
Scenario of complex and diverse cultural exchanges, its urban fabric and architecture expresses the customs and traditions of its people. The activities related to the sea stands out. The fishing techniques, the production of ships and underwater exploration are examples of practices which mark the everyday life on the island. However, due to the heritage degradation status, resource scarcity and extreme poverty these traditions are losing continuity and there has been a natural resources depletion.
Starting from an initiative of the Portuguese Cooperation, the project is a conversion of the buildings of the Old Arsenal on Stone town to the Conservation Centre of Marine Heritage. Is structured through three main courtyards program: patio construction of vessels (the public) the restoration of vessels and the Heritage Marine Research Centre (the private).
The main idea of the proposal is related to the consolidation and recovery not only of the natural qualities of the site but, above all, of the tradition and social memory of its inhabitants, seeking to create spaces for the development of the population and local craft techniques, and not give primacy to tourism. Due to lack of resources it is proposed that all interventions are carried out with local materials: the rehabilitation with the local coral stone and new interventions in compressed local earth block or soil cement.
The project design is seen as an act which aims to enhance what already exists, by taking the needs and local needs to build real opportunities.