Pombal Castle visitor centre offers a peek through a historic stone wall

Comoco Architects has added a third new structure to the grounds of the medieval Pombal Castle in Portugal – a limestone-clad   visitor centre that doubles as a viewing platform (+ slideshow). Related story: Sparrenberg Castle visitor centre by Max Dudler boasts striated concrete walls
This latest project is located within the castle’s perimeter. In other words, we sought for a creative dialogue with the situation as found,” they added. The architects reworked the internal layout, changed the railings and added new furniture. The project also included updating an existing Corten-steel viewing deck and exhibition gallery. The staircase ascends slowly up the building’s south-east elevation, offering access to the entire rooftop. “On the one hand it should seamlessly mingle with the exiting features in the castle’s ward, and on the other hand it should become a conspicuous new addition to the existing built structures. The architects chose to expand this programme to include the new observation deck. The single-storey structure with a staircase forming one of its facades is the second commission that Coimbra-based Comoco Architects has had for the Romanesque fortress, following a weathered steel cafe and a wooden gazebo completed on the castle hill in 2012. A triangular recess in the facade houses the entrance. finding its voice among the very many built artefacts that populate that space.”

The brief was to create a guest reception, a storage area and a room to screen a virtual history of the castle. Project credits:
Client: Pombal Municipality
Architecture: Luís Miguel Correia, Nelson Mota, Susana Constantino
Structural Engineering, Hydraulic and Acoustics: ABL – Gabinete de Projectos Lda
Electric devices: Luís Ribeiro
Mechanical devices: João Gonçalves Madeira da Silva
Contractors: ALVAPE, Construção e Obras Públicas, Lda
Location plan –   click for larger imageSite plan –   click for larger imageGround floor plan –   click for larger imageRoof plan –   click for larger image Inside, the projection room sits on the right-hand side and the storage area is tucked under the stairs. “We thought of the new volume as an object that should embody some ambiguity,” said the team, which has previously designed a visitor centre for another Portuguese castle.

Updated: 28.11.2014 — 20:51