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Site Museum, Montemor-o-Novo

  • Axo

Client: Arkxsite

Status: Competition January 2015

Archeological museum, Portugal

Embedded within the remnants of a hilltop castle town, our competition entry offers a bold elemental backdrop for the extraordinary ruins. Water and sky are inserted into the dust and stone. Reflecting pools and streams create a unique experience celebrating the historic location.

The museum is connected to the wider site through waterways that echo the castle’s original organisation and engage all the visitor’s senses. Placed below courtyard level, the building works with the steep topography and is cloaked in flowing water, forming a respectful counterpoint to venerable solid masonry. The roof is reflecting pools, mirroring and multiplying ruins and sky before cascading down façades, subtly blurring views from inside and softening the structure’s edges.

The museum appears as rippling volumes of water, changing from moment to moment. The rich history and landscape are given a shimmering new stage.

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