Praça Nova, intervention in the archaeological site of the Castle of San Jorge


The intervention in the archaeological site of Praça Nova, in the Castle of San Jorge, Lisbon, is made after the archaeological excavation of 1986. In this excavation the different civilizations that give rise to the city of Lisbon are exposed. The architecture studio of João Luís Carrilho da Graça was in charge of protecting and museumizing the remains that are left out in the open.


The project on Praça Nova has as its first action the delimitation of the intervention area. As a precise incision, a sheet of corten steel surrounds the area and generates an access and descent path, which brings you closer to the ruin. This steel profile contains the topography and articulates not only the entrance to the site, but also resolves the panoramic views of the site. The membrane that runs through the project encourages the walk and the discovery of the vestiges in a natural way.


Praça Nova becomes a scenographic place that gathers the origin of Lisbon and reveals it through a contemporary and weightless architecture


On Praça Nova, lies the remains of one civilization after another. Protected with a compact volume are the remains of the Muslim occupation. The architecture that is built reconstructs the space, recovering the scale and spatial sequences through rooms around a patio. In an abstract way the volume takes shape through white walls that fly over the starts of the existing walls. To touch the minimum the ruin, only through six points, gives the project an aspect of lightness that is reinforced by the use of translucent covers, built in polycarbonate and wooden slats that filter the light.


The Praça Nova complex creates an interaction between the vestiges and the new architecture. The visitor is related to the place, its topography and its views, and a path is generated that articulates the access, the descent and the route. Carrillho da Graça provides the place with an atmosphere of timelessness, silence and serenity, through the creation of a set that serves as a background but that shapes the origin of the city of Lisbon.


Photography by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG.