Urban Study for the Capuchos Hospital
Lisbon, PT . 2011
The ancient convent of Santo António dos Capuchos and the insides of its surround were profoundly modified in the XIX and XX centuries, after it was confiscated from the church, becoming an hospital. The hospital, now set to be deactivated, has been set to accommodate housing, public equipments and public spaces, preserving the existing heritage, on a site with a central and topographically exceptional position in the city.
The convent’s surround has been maintained with few modifications until today. One of the main questions of the functional conversion was to sort out the way to circulate within it and how to connect it to the surrounding city.
The steep slop of the site originated an occupation based on platforms, born around the convents building. The proposal takes advantage of the same system to put in place the new buildings, preserving the central position of the convent. The succession of platforms also allows a sequential discovery the privileged views over the valley of Avenida da Liberdade and the hill of São Roque.
To sort out the relation of the convents grounds with the city, given its difficult topography, two systems of circulation are envisioned: a motorized, in a closed circuit, still as a peninsula; a pedonal, that cross the plot, turning it a connection to and between the surround city.
heritage was looked at in a broad sense: taking the convent’s surround as part of the city’s urban history, with a fundamental part in its construction, due to be preserved; looking at the other two key heritage values, the convent and the Mello palace, as essential parts of the future integration in the city.
The listed buildings are privileged places to locate public equipments, by their nature of public interest sites and their architectonical value and, on the other hand, as keys features in the generation of fluxes of people besides the future inhabitants.
The new built volumes sit over the topographical logic of the site, over the matrix of the platforms, public walkways and programs, along the limits of the platforms, underlining their contour.
The design of the public space, even if here appears as a result, is in reality the foundation of the global design. Recovering the a qualified design to the public space within the hospital surround was understood as a key feature of the quality of living of the future inhabitants and the city. In such as the rehabilitation of the promenade, the garden or the tree cover of streets.
Inês Lobo with João Rosário, João Vaz, Júlia Varela, Rodrigo Lino Gaspar Cláudio Gonçalves, Job Morais
Photography: Duarte Belo