Results: Site Gallery _ Mértola, Portugal

This international one-stage architecture competition invites all architecture students, young architects and young professionals with a degree in architecture studies (≤ 40 years old) to develop and submit compelling ideas for the design of a contemporary Site Gallery located near the River Tower (Torre do Rio) in the bank of the Guadiana River and adjacent to the fortified walls of the village of Mértola, in the southeast of Portugal.

The River Tower (Torre do Rio) is a significant landmark on a prominent landscape, a place of great cultural heritage and historical significance with characteristics that must be fully preserved.

When generating a vision for an intervention located within such a spectacular place, it is essential that each proposal emphasizes, respects and celebrates the site, while providing visitors with a unique experience.

1st Prize

SG16048 Anna Nawrocka (POLAND)

The project obtained a positive judgement for its silent nature. The candidate buries the building under the ground level and thus does not change the skyline of Mértola, characterizing itself as a pure line in the panorama. Its strong and amazing relation with water and rock underlines an approach that respects the context.

The project “resonates” with the landscape and embodies the spirit of the site with high sensitivity and elegance. The decision to develop all of the building in an underground level permitted to frame a new unconventional point of view. The alignments and the references to the site are well arranged and the formal result amplifies the evocative character of the environment. It is a high spirit approach and at the same time respectful of the historical context.

Extremely delicate project. The work of the frame and the point of view reveals the site. It is the project of ground that speaks to the rock in the sky and in the bank. The man becomes the vibrating heart of silent architecture.

site gallery competition

2nd Prize

SG16024 Grzegorz Maczka, Marta Maczka (POLAND)

The building, unusually placed under the massive pre-existent ruins, creates an interesting entrance to the exhibition space and opens the view towards the river. The project is well-controlled at different scales: the plan is balanced and has a clear connection with the marked line of the city.

The project deals with the existing historical presence by re-interpreting the acquired notion of an infrastructure. The ruins become the leading signs of a new paradigmatic approach, as a protruding platform from the Mértola Citadel that engages the river as an ideal port, a gate and an open square. The overall architectural design result looks clear, powerful and synthetic.

A project in the powerful expression which puts forward the thickness of the bank. It creates a base and a foundation in the elements of the heritage. The material of the site and the project takes its strength of the horizontal of the water.


3rd Prize

SG16040 João Varela, Ana Santos, João Tavares, Paulo Dias (PORTUGAL)

Placed on the opposite riverbank of the area, the project does not directly affect the archaeological site. The candidate actually proposes a monolith projected over the river and directed towards the panorama, imaging not only a visual connection from the Belvedere, but also a physical relation: the magnificent interior space is directly accessible from the river.

The project shows a unique and different idea on where to place the project by docking the building into the opposite bank. Exhibition spaces can therefore enjoy the view of the old city and serve as a connection port to navigate from the other side. It is also remarkable that the project alignment recalls the ancient route of a Roman commercial way but clearly proposes a contemporary “vis-à-vis” with the old city.03_sitegallery_results


SG16019 Karol Krawczyk, Katarzyna Klaczek (POLAND)
SG16032 Brion Basha (AUSTRIA)
SG16060 Jean Paysant, Benoist Desfonds (FRANCE)
SG16086 Andrea Cosentino, Emanuele Cavaglion, Giovanni Cavaglion, Zaira Colombo (ITALY)
SG16016 Paulina Małkowiak, Barbara Seweryn (POLAND)
SG16030 Javier Durán Heras, Carlos García Brome (SPAIN)
SG16057 Iuri Pereira, André Bengochea (PORTUGAL)

Congratulations !

Go to the competition’s results page

Date: July 1, 2016