Polis Ria Formosa - Olhão - PMA
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Polis Ria Formosa – Olhão

Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa


One of the main functions included in the Parks’ proposal corresponds to the possibility of performing recreational, cultural or sportive events, amongst others. The central aim represents a high uses’ polyvalence, either in what concerns to the event’s proportion, either to the associated thematic.

Therefore, there will exist an exclusive area (Events Centre) which contains a set of buildings, and a pavement area with about 4000m2 that includes an open air shows’ location (stage 1).

However, this “Events Centre” can be extended to the South, towards the slash, where a lawn grid area is placed. Furthermore, at this slash zone, a stage (stage 2), for shows with a larger audience, may even be located.

The “Market Avenue” and the “Park’s Avenue” are two spaces that combine the circulation features along with the possibility of incorporating removable structures, which can be a support to its own events or an extent to bigger ones that can be celebrated at the “Event’s Centre”.

The “Olhão’s River Bank Park” will be served by two car parking areas. The North car parking area, with the capacity for 80 vehicles, is directly connected to “Events Centre”, and is a supporting area for the users who access the Park through its North entrance.

At a central location, combined to the higher use areas, comes another car parking area across to the 5 de Outubro Avenue, with a capability for about 120 vehicles. This new area is an extension of the existent areas that already exist along the referred avenue, increasing effectively the car parking capability.

The use of the vegetation takes a high relevance role at the presented proposal for the Olhão’s River Bank Park. Firstly, the “park’s” typology, presupposes a significant vegetal component which at the presented proposal is formed by three primal systems: the tree’s vegetation system, the bush’s vegetation system and the herbaceous’ vegetation system.

The “River Trail” takes advantage of the existent walls’ ridge for the older tanks division. It appears on the “River’s Walkway” path, which is developed along the South and East Lagoons, although with less width and with less stringent pavement, since for this Park’s furthest point, a naturalized image and less amount of use is intended.

This lagoon is intended to have a playful function, with particular propensity for hidromodelling. For such purpose the water line access is potentiated, formalized by a wide wood deck to be located at the lagoon’s East border. The deck will compose a wide water front easily usable by visitors, as well as hidromodelling practitioners. There will be an artificial lighting system in order to ensure the night use possibility of said enclosure, namely for the hidromodelling events.

There will be a tier of benches incorporated to the deck which, beyond favouring the access to the deck, allows users’ permanence and the observation of the small remote boats that may be handled. It still is an added value for the events’ organization / hidromodelling competitions, allowing the accommodation of the attending audience.

At the lagoon’s South-eastern corner a belvedere will be placed, the “Lagoon’s Belvedere”, which allows the visual ascendance over the lagoon. It will incorporate some equipment and urban furniture.

The “River Walkway” is developed at the Lagoon’s South border side, which allows for pedestrian circulation with a large ascendance position above the River’s landscape. Through this walkway there will exist wooden platforms (incorporating some urban furniture) which allow the users permanence and work as viewpoints. The wooden platforms also allow for the access to the River beach.

This lagoon is intended to mainly work as a permanence point, as a support to the intense activity generated by the Lagoon’s Walkway. Therefore, the more formal permanence that may take place at the walkway (at esplanade areas connected to eventual supporting buildings), will be supplemented by informal permanence solutions, which will be formalized at its North and East borders – the Solarium and the Tier of Benches, respectively.

At the Solarium, the steps’ system allows for several spontaneous and informal appropriations, such as laying down in the grassy surfaces, reading, sleeping or sunbathing.

There is a small wooden deck, connected to the South border, which, apart from possibly functioning as a small stage, is a permanence area close to the water line.

This lagoon, nearest to the riparian and to the Park’s East accesses is intended for playful and recreation activities, such as small boats rental or “pedal boats”, and open air shows, as well as a location for restaurant facilities and its corresponding esplanade.

With this in mind, at its conception, several elements and facilities were incorporated in order to allow the several proposed activities to take place. Therefore, at the East top a large deck was generated, at the water line level, designed for the cafeteria and restaurant’s facilities esplanade and support to the nautical activities. This deck, which will also serve as boats and pedal boats quay, extends into a pathway with a connection to amphitheatre area.

The amphitheatre’s development takes advantage of the lagoon’s border gradient, being the stage area located above the water line. This set will have a double feature, since, besides the music or other shows, it will also function as the lagoon’s observation and permanence area.

It should be mentioned that the occasional connection between this lagoon and the adjacent ones may be a possible assumption if the amount of activities to be implemented so justifies.

The clearings have a special relevance in the Park’s intended structure, inasmuch as they materialize exceptional spaces and ambiences and allow different uses.

This slash’s West side, opens up to a natural value forefront, composed by a wide saltern ground connected to one of the Ria Formosa’s straits, with the Faro’s city as background.

On the other hand, the North slash closes up on itself, isolating it self from the exterior. It presents a strong relationship with others geographical units – The Events Centre, The Market Avenue and the Park’s Square – complementing themselves mutually in a functional point of view.

The Event’s Centre of Olhão’s River Bank Park is located at its North extremity, formalized by a wide permeable pavement area, which ensures a formal and cosy surface formation.

This space follows a yard typology, being overshadowed by tree vegetation, placed in enlarged measure alignments, which allows for an easy lodgement of structures or supporting facilities and recreational, cultural and sports events promotion.

The Events’ Centre still incorporates a building set which covers supporting structures (washrooms, acceptance, etc.), as well as allow for the performance of smaller exhibitions at an open air enclosure. This set is a rehabilitation of an existent building, being proposed the conservation of the high chimney, which will function as the Park’s reference.

Although the recreation port’s expansion is not estimated, in a near future, it was considered that its location should not be unconsidered or prevented with the solution for the rivarian spaces’ improvement.

Accordingly, the park’s proposed solution disregarding the recreations port or the existent one’s expansion, estimates that this one may be located in a incorporated way combined with park’s proposal for this phase.

Therefore, according to the presented summarised plan, with the solution for the recreation port, this would be located in way that takes advantage of the lagoons’ area, being the whole infrastructure and facilities used and developed.


Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa


Olhão – 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.

Multipurpose space ( fairs, concerts, expositions).



– 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