Polis Ria Formosa - Faro - PMA
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Polis Ria Formosa – Faro

Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa


The intervention is based on the idea of conceiving a space which permits a closer proximity between the park visitors and river space, provides its guaranteed experience and its discovery through the creation of spaces and pathways which guarantee the users’ contact with this particular landscape, allowing the discovery of several aspects that characterize it and encouraging its landscape enrichment, while draws the attention to traditional economic activities developed at the location.

The Coast Ecovia has a structuring function at this location, inasmuch as it crosses the entire area and represents the main access to the park, either by bicycle, walking or car (northeast part, through the Salt ecomuseum). The park’s pathways system is developed from this axis.

While the main pathways goal is the simple and prompt access to the most important points of the intervention area, the secondary ones have the function of allowing the roam through the space, contacting the several partialities and sensations that it can offer – either explore the agricultural partitioning, or cross a slash at its bound, at the fringe tree shadow, or, even, rise to the main points of this space, allowing an access to panoramic views.

There is one kind of pathways, which will shall call “observation trails”, that assume a relevant role for its didactic character and the spaces that they cross, accentuating not only the existent natural values but also the property values (for example, the “Penteados” Mill and the saltern).

At certain points, small enlargements will appear which are not only refreshment areas but mainly observation points, guided to the several crossed habitats and ecosystems.

The saltern areas, the natural drainage lines and the river inlet incorporated in the intervention bound, the whole marsh area and contact bound with the river, define a natural space partitioning, which is intended to be increased through the preservation and recovery of the riparian culvert and the protection border and systems protection borders.

Considering the transition of the buildings into public use locations, the proposed solution is a use and preparation, not only for features closely connected to the river bank park but for its user and to the activities developed in the river.

Therefore, the rehabilitation of the several existent Norias along the river bank Park suggesting the Arabian ascendance in Algarve’s culture and ways, as well as the secular living agriculture which fed the majority of the population, will be a contribution to the users approach to said features. These buildings are rehabilitated having in mind the new uses proposed in the River bank Park’s extension.

The first building, because it is closer to one of the railroad’s transposition areas, and therefore closer to park’s access, will be rehabilitated accounting its use as a reception point and information post to the park’s users and also as a support to the surveillance.

The second building is intended for the cafeteria or restaurant facilities with the capability of, for example, local products’ promotion. An esplanade zone will be created in the area bordering to this one.

The third is intended for a sports centre which may provide, for example, bicycles rental, river tripping or other, in order to create incentives and users’ support.

The vegetation will take a primal role at this space’s composition since, combined with small soil modeling, will allow the creation of volumes which will contrast with the herbaceous coverage surfaces, creating a larger space dynamic, where the colour and the textures tend to develop an attractive landscape to the user.

The Saltern and Salt are an activity in which several features are mingled: historic, ethnographic, landscape, environmental and economic, and that should be explored in an integrated mode. Thus, there is an intention of creating circumstances in order for the saltern to also work as a teaching area, explanatory and laboratory centre, and also as a leisure didacticism unit.

Also, the closeness to what remains of the “Penteados” Watermill transforms this set into a larger interpretative location of the park.

The proposed solution is to rehabilitate the storage building and the boundary building, with a complete conversion so it can welcome the Salt Ecomuseum. This museum’s set would be incorporated in the existent museum compositions, working as a Faro’s Museum extension.

The Ecomuseum will be directly connected to the interpretative trails, to the saltern and to what remains of the “penteados” watermill, which is intended to be reinforced and preserved in memory of the past region activities.

At the building’s surrounding area an exterior space is created, connected to the museum, paved and with pedestrian pathways to the interpretative trails at the saltern areas – Salt Interpretative Trails.

At this centre, accounting the maintenance of the housing’s prevailing use, which in many cases are still connected to fishing activities, the purpose is to intervene in the surrounding public space with full redefinition and restructuring, including interventions at pavements, landscaping, lighting, urban furniture, car parking, accessibility, etc.

In the built item, since it presents a relevant heterogeneity in what concerns to the construction chronology and architectural quality, the general facades’ rehabilitation is proposed, combined with small interventions to the removal and displacement of the contrasting discordant elements.

As a public space restructuring, a pavement area insertion, which connects all the elements that are part of this building set, is proposed, allowing a clear circulation through the space. Beyond the trees that provide shadow and frame the set, a grass area is proposed, incorporated in the pavement design, with an overlooking to the river and providing a recreation area possible to incorporate a children’s playground.

Being the “Montenegro Park” one of the main entrances of the Faro’s river bank park (main entrance’s phase II), the creation of a reception centre and information is proposed, transferring the small back building, which is in an advanced state of degradation, to public use. This building will be incorporated in the park, once rehabilitated.

From this reception area it is possible to realize the amount of assets of the Faro’s River bank Park. Contiguous to the “Montenegro Park” it is possible to see Ria Formosa’s splendorous landscape, the marsh areas, as well as the cultivation gantry of the several farms – areas which promote and consolidate this protected landscape’s


Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa


Faro – Algarve


Competition – 2009


Project for the requalification of waterfronts, public park and pedestrian walkways.

Public park that returns the waterfront of Ria Formosa to the city, divided in two phases.



– Manuel Cottinelli Telmo Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– João Cottinelli Telmo Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– António Pedro Batista Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– Sónia Machado Mendes – Arquitect

– Pedro Cunha – Arquitect

– Maria Russo – intern


– Pedro Batalha – Landscape architect