Cruz do Montalvão Park

Castelo Branco Municipality
Castelo Branco, Portugal
Competition, 2016
21 ha
The Intervention Zone is part of a broad territorial system that establishes between its two areas, divided by a roadway, a prevalent dynamic related with uses and systems continuity. In the last decades – with the spread of the urban fabric towards the surrounding agricultural lands – due to the creation of a roadway connecting the new housing district, commercial areas, and industrial areas, this system has been interrupted and its connections, when existing, have been artificialized. With the already-built Urban Park of Castelo Branco, the construction of the new Urban Park of Cruz do Montalvão unfolds the possibility of reintroducing a continuity in the natural systems and the creation of pedestrian paths between the various Parks, transforming it into one.
In this sense, taking advantage of the terrain morphology, it is proposed the construction of a viaduct which allows the construction of a passage under Empreendedor Avenue. The viaduct allows the passage of pedestrian paths, water, and drainage lines and the continuity of the natural system (Flora / Fauna) of the Park, defining the continuity between the two areas designated by the North Zone and South Zone.
The proposal is developed around the interpretation of the pre-existing natural drainage process in the place, currently interrupted by the construction of communicating ways that delimit or cross the Park. The local topography that generates this water system is closely related to the intentions of the project, resulting in the design of four main units, whose size and direction are conditioned according to the modeling of the terrain.
It is proposed the creation of a dense bush and tree zone around the perimeter of the new Urban Park of Cruz do Montalvão. It is sought, with this tree and shrub buffer area, to create a strong interiority in the Park and create a filter to the existing roadway system. The shrub border defines four clearings of different dimensions throughout the Park, enabling the diversity of environments and different programmatic uses.
Given the extension of the Park, it is proposed the creation of a forest environment, made up of a tree and shrub structure of native species and others of reduced maintenance, easily adaptable to the local climate. This structure not only delimits the Park irregularly, creating a border independent of the communicating routes but creates sub-spaces within the area of ​​intervention, enhancing its usufruct. The relationship created between the local topography and the vegetation provides several sensations, caused by wide and closed spaces, of the greater and lesser intensity of light and of a smaller or greater range of views, which enrich the experience of those who travel through the Park.
HAHA Landscape Architecture & José Adrião Arquitectos