The exercise was to connect the uptown to the Douro riverside, by designing new mechanical connections that would easy the mobility of the citizens and visitors between two separated parts of the city.
The territory in analysis is characterized by the steep slope and by a constructed landscape that is mainly adapted to the pedestrian scale. We are confronted with narrow streets and vertiginous staircases that overcome the slope with difficulty. This decrease in mobility increases the time distances between the points of interest and experience of the city, affecting residents and visitors alike. The non-attractiveness of the area as a residential space causes the territory to be emptied and socially degraded.
With this in mind, three key points where identified as strategic connections between the uptown and the Douro riverside: Miragaia, Palácio de Cristal and Virtudes.
The concept of the proposal is to create new landmarks. Yet, a landmark doesn´t need to negativly overimpose itself to the existing reality. These new structures, more than fulfilling the connection, they become seightseeing points for the priviliged view of the city and the Douro river, becoming also an atraction and points of reference in the landscape.
The design searches for aestethic and sculptoric qualities, without overimposing the form over the landscape. We don´t want to hide it, but also we don´t want to outshine the beautiful Porto riverside. So, the shape sometimes reveals itself with discretion, and other times it fuses with the landscape.