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© pema studio | Tiago Pedrosa Martins Architecture Studio | tiago@pemastudio.pt | Santo Tirso

Archaeological Complex - Roman Villa of Rabaçal
Architecture Competition  .  Rabaçal  .  2019  .  3rd Place 
Taking in consideration the landscape value of this territory,  the proposal characterized primarily by the respect shown for the existing landscape. All the natural wealth of this valley,  where Villa Romana do Rabaçal is located,  elevates  the importance  and  dimension  of  this  intervention  far beyond the limits of the built heritage. It's framed by  this logic  of valorization  and landscape  preservation  that the first  two basic intentions of this  project emerge:  metamorphosis  of  the  built  complex  with  the landscape,  allowing a  minimal  impact  on  the  valley  perception  as  a  singular  organism,  and  the elevation  of  the  facilities  and  main  pedestrian  paths  to  an  aerial  level,  allowing intervention at ground  level to be  minimal and  punctual. The result is a set of four  volumes with an autochthonous garden  roof that “levitate” near the ruins area and communicate  with each other from a network of walkways  that  make the connection  between the  various  facilities  and  the  surrounding  territory. When  viewed  from  the  top  of Chanca town,  the complex  will  only be  recognized  by  its  irregular limestone facades,  which at some distance, will function as light-colored rings that subtly hover over the territory.
 
Ending the whole archaeologic experience,  it is proposed,  along the way towards North,  a  limestone guide in the ground,  which  in a very subtle  way takes  the visitor  in a final and  symbolic  walk to the naturally highest point of the complex,  which is punctuated with a small  auditorium for contemplating the  landscape.  The Archaeological Complex  of  Villa Romana do Rabaçal  assumes  itself  as  a  living organism, willing to adapt to the existing landscape and transform with it, valuing and respecting  the territory  with all the natural  and built  elements that composes and characterizes it.  The visit to  this place is no  longer just a visit to the ruins,  assuming a dimension  expressed  by  the  experience  that fuses the interpretation of a crystallized past with the experience of a landscape heritage in constant transformation.