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FROM THE PLACE TO THE SPACE
Universidade da Beira Interior

ST. ANTÓNIO THERMAL BATHS METAMORPHOSIS
From the place to the space it is intended to be a conceptual reflection in the design process for a project exercise in the antique St. António thermal baths, located in Celorico da Beira. The space is, today, the memory and the culture of the place, surrounded by a natural landscape and ruins of thermal past.
The raise of ruin is considered as a positive possibility and fundamental for the reorganization of place, thus being built as a set of issues that encourage new readings and appropriations of a proposal that induces a more flexible structure. This process manifested itself mainly through the addition of matter that makes continuity between the constructed object, the ruins and the own environment.

The proposal aims to highlight the identity of the place, and thus, realize the importance of the space in the project. In this sense, i seek to establish, with the memory, a balanced dialogue, either in form or in time, in function of a new thermal hotel.
There are three distinct moments: conservation, demolition and construction – in the intention of recreating or adding new spaces. It is intended a relationship that responds to the need to create a new dynamic of tension between the existing and the surrounding, that through a process driven by knowledge and under landing of the values of the place and its surroundings, which gives meaning to the proposal.
The proximity with the preexistence and continuity with the granite ruins lends to the new volume a unit with its surroundings, and a very strong mineral character. In fact, it is this balance, between landscape and design, that the condition of the place and the program acquire the “metamorphosis” – a concept that seeks to find a unity as a common change between the balance of the ruin cultural value (the place) and the evolution of the new project (the space).