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THE MITH OF RIO SECO “Its spring, in a quarry nearby, dries completely every month of June - and thus it remains until the first rain; and right after the water bursts, but how! Carrying garbage - straw - and even manure; - thus is born for two or three days, turning very clean and clear until the following June, when it dries again!” . VELLOSO D’ ANDRADE, José Sérgio, ‘Memoria sobre Chafarizes, Bicas, Fontes e Poços Públicos de Lisboa, Belém, e muitos logares do termo’, Lisbon, Imprensa Silviana, 1851.
THE MITH OF RIO SECO “Its spring, in a quarry nearby, dries completely every month of June - and thus it remains until the first rain; and right after the water bursts, but how! Carrying garbage - straw - and even manure; - thus is born for two or three days, turning very clean and clear until the following June, when it dries again!” . VELLOSO D’ ANDRADE, José Sérgio, ‘Memoria sobre Chafarizes, Bicas, Fontes e Poços Públicos de Lisboa, Belém, e muitos logares do termo’, Lisbon, Imprensa Silviana, 1851.











PROJECTINDEX
HONOURABLE MENTION
THE EVIDENCE OF NATURAL
Universidade de Lisboa -
Faculdade de Arquitectura

Regarding Rio Seco Natural Park
We propose to See, in the city and the territory, the expression of its natural systems. See, because they are in plain sight, although sometimes unnoticed and, most times, ignored. See, “to rediscover - as Siza wrote - the uniqueness of evident things.”1

In the older cartography it is possible to distinguish a set of fine winding lines among which arises the denomination Rio Seco. Piped and covered by several layers of asphalt, it is suggested by the enigmatic presence on street and square names, and the myths told by the locals. Along the mouth, under Cordoaria Nacional, shows proof (and smell) of it’s existence in the stone tunnel that dissolves it in Tejo.

The revelation of Rio Seco is the premise to understand and rethink the surrounding territory. Support for the fruition of the natural system, the valley assumes itself as a privileged place in the articulation of the Monsanto Park and the riverfront. Thus is proposed the creation of a Natural Park, integrating and completing the green corridor initiated by Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles.

Through a critical and selective reading of reality, one pursues, in a section of the west slope of the Rio Seco valley, marked by traces of a past in which the river accompanied the dismantling of limestone walls, suggestions that trigger a cultural construction - therefore architectural - around this place.

With the river emerges the imaginary of water. The baths, in resemblance to those taken by the waterline and inside the water tanks, occupy the voids lefts by the extinct quarries. The retrieving of the paths which connected the quarries to the top of the Lime Kilns, frames the new water spaces. Memory is activated and History is integrated in the Park.

Enigmatic and practically invisible throughout its extension, Rio Seco is suggested by spaces that assign the water course architectural meaning. From a first arch, others multiply.The bridge over the river becomes the bridge over the Park, the ex-líbris of the transition between the last and the city.

In the rethinking of the valley, currently demeaned by excess of construction, one proposes to eradicate built space from its margins, defining the limit between this and the city only with ‘geological space’. The materialization of this ‘geological inhabited limit’ harbors in the ambiguity of its thickness a place designated to the imponderable, at the same time it seeks to celebrate the continuity of the limestone slope.

The projects that form the Park, and from which take form, rise from the confirmation of something that always existed. They are like an invitation to see the city and the territory from the evidence of its natural dimension.

1. GREGOTTI, Vittorio, ‘O outro’, preface to ‘Imaginar a Evidência’, p. 8