Polis Ria Formosa - Fuseta - PMA
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Polis Ria Formosa – Fuseta

Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa


The area of intervention corresponding to Fuseta-Ria constitutes an important transition zone between the urban front of Fuseta and the estuary, which includes the sandy beach and all the areas that are submerged with the tide, well known for the wealth and biological diversity they contain. Thus, and as the beach plan advocates, it is intended for the intervention area a public space of quality, duly equipped for the usufruct of the population.
It was verified that this space was subject to a recent intervention whose functional criteria obey the provisions of the Beach Plan so that the intervention that they are now proposing will be only at the level of filling some flaws with the established in the plan, namely with regard to beach supports, which are currently non-existent.
Throughout the rest of the space, a careful analysis of the area is proposed, in order to maintain or revitalize the area, which will result in the replacement of degraded materials and furniture, when this is necessary (such as access walkways to the beach on the dune) and the substitution and reinforcement of some arboreal and shrub vegetation that is in bad condition or missing.
Also at the level of the intervention that is now intended to be done, it was observed the need to create a bridge connecting the existing gangway system to the former Relief Institute for Shipwrecked – the Footbridge of the Estuary. As it happens in Fuseta-Mar, this bridge will have a small enlargement that will function as a rest area and viewpoint on the Ria, in a language that, similar to what happens with the proposed supports, approximates the two interventions – Fuseta-Ria and Fuseta -Sea.
These supports are located in an area close to the urban front to the west of the campsite, aligned and close to the banks of the river in landscaped spaces.
They have an uniform rectangular shape with a single opaque volume interrupted by the restaurant’s glass.
In the extremes are located, on one side the kitchen and on the other the bathrooms being in the center the space destined to the restaurant.
The esplanade occupies an area next to the support between this and the ria margin, in a space defined by the shading pergola consisting of a reticule of wood supported on metallic plumbs.
The installation of the equipment will be, for two equipments, approximately North / South, returning the esplanade area to the South and to the other southwest / northeast.
This support is similar in all respects to the remaining three simple supports with equipment, however, because of the shape of the area available for implantation passed to a less elongated and narrow. The adaptation of the program was based on the normal program for this type of club, which according to the usual needs does not differ much from the program of a support with equipment.
For this port docking infrastructure, this proposal foresees the requalification that goes through various interventions in the existing infrastructure, in the zone of entrance to the bridge in the sidewalk that flanks the channel and in the zone of entrance to the bridge.
The interventions are as follows:
– Improvement and upgrading of bridges and floating piers, including general improvement.
– Creation of a new ticket office to support users on the side.
– Creation of waiting areas for users and equipped with benches and pergolas.
The ticket office will be a structure of wooden posts and crosspieces coated with wooden planks that in the upper part is a horizontal slat and with a sheet cover with lacquered sheet, maintaining the architectural image of the remaining supports of the proposal.
The waiting area adjacent to the ticket office and entry will be shaded by a pergola formed by a reticule filled with wood slat, resting on metallic elements.

The preservation and recovery of the dune system is a cross-cutting concern to the whole proposal, since the objective here will always be to value this space – giving quality to its experience and use and taking advantage of all its valences (natural beauty, didactic value, recreation bathing, among others) – while using as a basis criteria that promote the preservation of the ecosystem so that the ecological balance and environmental quality that characterize it remain in the future.
Therefore, the main objective of the intervention is the complementarily between the recreational use of this beachfront and the enhancement and preservation of the ecosystem, and it is a priority that the action on it be reduced to a minimum. For this, it is fundamental to value this space through the creation of a path, with associated living spaces that guarantees not only the access to the beach, but also the experience and discovery of this natural system with the different facets that characterize it, drawing the attention of the importance of its conservation and its ecological and landscape value.
When navigating all this space, from the dock to the beach, the need for an efficient planning of space, especially at the level of circulation, must be formalized so that trampling is as small as possible, in an area that is dominated by a dune system and that in the summer it receives great flows of population that extravagate the system of routes precariously defined.
In order to fulfill the spatial planning criteria defended in this intervention, a pedestrian circulation axis was defined, from the tourist dock, passing through the main square – Cais Square, and connecting, by means of an over-raised passageway 0,50m – the Footbridge of the Dune, to a square-viewpoint – Praia Square, from where the ramps and accesses (at ground level) leave to the beach – the Sand Footbridge. This main axis, formalized with 3m wide in the circulation areas and constituted by the Cais Square, the Footbridge of the Dune and the Beach Square, constitutes the structuring element of the space making the connection to the zone of the beach and allowing the distribution of the population flow from the dock to the equipment and the beach.

The solution adopted for the pedestrian circulations in raised and marked wooden pallets will contribute to the management of flows, as it will constitute a comfortable and easily identifiable material solution. It contributes so that the users have a less tendency to leave these routes to the adjoining dune areas, obtaining a greater degree of preservation of the system.
The Dock Square is the central point of the intervention at Fuseta-Mar. In addition to a mandatory crossing point from the dock to the beach, it is intended that this is a stopping and rest area so that the stay will be promoted in the shade of trees that leave openings in the walkway with the implantation of some furniture for the effect, useful for those who wait for the boat or for those who just want to rest.
The main body of the square is raised to 0,20m from the ground and the buoyancy system will be guaranteed through the proposed shrub spots that will constitute obstacles to the circulation outside the perimeter defined by the square structure. From this platform part another, which rises 0.50m from the ground, as the support advocated for this space, and whose difference is overcome by means of steps and a ramp. The objective of this second platform is to ensure comfortable access and to the area of spas / sanitary facilities and to the terrace area of the support.
The Duna bridge, which starts from Cais Square, leads to another square – Praia Square, which is thrown over the sand at an elevation above it, functioning as a viewpoint and distributing the different accesses to the beach: some stairs that depart of the square itself and two walkways, one to the east and the other to the west, the latter giving access also to the existing beach support.
Along the pedestrian walkway, both in Cais Square and Praia Square, there are resting points that, besides being pleasant areas of stay under the trees, in the first, or a structure of shade, in the second, can also function as points of observation of the different habitats that are here and contain informative panels about them and the species of flora and fauna that exist here, drawing the attention of beach users and associated equipment to the landscape that surrounds them as well as to the fundamental role which plays on the balance of the coast system and the quality of the space they attend.
The entire square develops around the building, the main façade of which is detached from the first platform (with an elevation of 0.20m), through a planted area that lies between the two elements and in which arises a modeling, evidencing the sandy material that is here and dissuading the course inside this opening in the bridge. This separation allows the complete and unobstructed view of the building by those who come from the dock, individualizing it and highlighting it from the whole structure of the square.
Taking into account the close connection between Fuseta Mar and Ria, the architectural design is affiliated with Fuseta’s support, following the basic principles which were the basis of its conception. Thus, the formal design of the entire building is based on the same coating materials and functional structure.
With the architectural design proposed for the intervention it is intended to create a quality architectural image, guaranteeing the visual and landscape integration in the area in which it is inserted, as well as an architectural image based on simple shapes and volumes, easily integrated in the surrounding environment.
This support, taking into account their situation and location, has chosen an L-shaped so that people who leave the beach and intend to use the support area and spas have a direct connection to the beach. The body of the equipment will be perpendicular to the first of the spas and supports, being more guarded of the circulation between the beach and the dock. The esplanade will be in front of the equipment and restoration with visual opening for the river and for the square created in this zone.
All supports, although different according to the defined typology, have a structure based on the same construction system and a design based on the same solutions in the use of materials and solutions of coatings and finishes.
This option is concerned on the one hand with a question of unity desired in the architectural image and on the other with a question of simplicity in the execution and consequent economy of construction, exteriors and interior finishing.
The supports are structured with a modulation, reticulated, made up of metal pillars and lamellar beams glued in wood where they support wood beams, which in turn will be fixed on the materials constituting the coating, exteriors and interior finishing.

In co-authoring with PB.ARQ


Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa


Praia da Fuseta – ria e mar – Algarve


Competition – 2009


Rehabilitation plan for the beach support structures and access piers on the beach of Fuseta-Ria and Fuseta-Mar.
4 catering equipment with beach support and a simple support.
Access Docks
1 catering equipment with beach support and minimal support.
Access Docks



– João Cottinelli Telmo Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– Manuel Cottinelli Telmo Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– António Pedro Batista Pardal Monteiro – Architect

– Sónia Machado Mendes – Architect

– Pedro Cunha – Architect

– Maria Russo – Intern Architect


– PB.ARQ – Landscaper Architect