Mosque in Mouraria
Lisbon, PT . 2013 - in progress
Its alongside this requaliifed urban stretch that, years after and apart from Mouraria’a Action Plan,
that the project to open a square connecting Palma street and Benformoso Street was born, integrating the set of public squares that punctuate the path.
This idea isn't recent, as documents from the municipal archives proof. In the end of the XIX th. century, shortly after the opening of Palma street, a group of residents of Benformoso street claimed an additional connecting between both urban axes. Years after, in the fifties of th XX th. century, a demolition plan for the construction of Martin Moniz square includes the elimination of a set of buildings in the exact where Mouraria-square is to be created. The extension of Palma street to the North, to become Almirante Reis Av., ease the connecting to the expanding city, but created a frontier, isolating Mouraria to the city in the West. To open a connection between these streets is therefore addressing an action problem of the local urban design, but also an opportunity to address pressing matter regarding social cohesion in a frame of multiculturality.
The programme for the new square naturally found its guidelines in the chateristics of the site.
The site, as a frontier between two urban realities, is also a the opportunity to bring together, to put in contact, two social and cultural realities.
Given the dimension of the local muslim community from Bangladesh, the precariousness of the existing mosques, the decision to built a new mosque a suitable one. On another hand, the close presence of Municipal Photographic Archive, just on the side of the square, found in the construction of the square the opportunity to extend its facilities, by building a multi purpose room that can easily host exhibitions. The programme reflects the condition of the site as a frontier, by its
composite nature. A mixed programme composed by spaces allowing multiple uses,
The addiction of design principles that search to reinforce the flexibility of the use of the buildings, ensures that they can serve a diversity of purposes, now and in the future.
This vague and plural programme also allows to not succumb to the temptation to, by giving visibility to multi-culturality, contribute inadvertently to the processes of stigmatisation. Mouraria has a singular reality, were strong typicality and multi-culturality coexist, something that is a singular opportunity to achieve the effective integration of the OTHER, by sharing a common space: the square, a neighborhood or the public space in general.
“Eventough one might consider that urban interventions search to act on the obscure side underlying the ambiguity of interstitial spaces it’s, here, appropriate to note that being ambiguity of interstitially conditions inherent to our contemporaneity, maybe it would be important to also take in to account the potential of those conditions. This is, I believe that the possible invention of a neighborhood as a segregated and stigmatized space, implies admitting that Mouraria is one of the reflections of contemporary urban space, a patch were coexist distinct parts or a multiplicity of Mourarias”
Inês Lobo with João Rosário, João Vaz, Júlia Varela, Vasco Lopes
Structures: ADF Engenheiros Consultores; Pedro Morujão
Hydraulic Installations: Fernanda Valente
Electrical Installations,Telecommunication and Security: GPIC Projectos Consultoria e Instalações; Fernando Aires, Alexandre Martins
Heating, Ventilation, Building Physics, Thermic and Acoustics: NaturalWorks; Guilherme Carrilho da Graça
Project Revision: Rui Prata Ribeiro Lda; Rui Prata Ribeiro, Paula Balseiro
Client: Municipality of Lisbon/Local muslim community from Bangladesh
Site area: 2500 m2
Photography:: Paulo Catrica
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