museum in the second line of defense of juromenha

SECIL Universities Award 2011
Archiprix  Portugal 2013 Finalist


In the country southwestern region, where Alentejo is outlined by the Guadiana River lies the village of Juromenha. The village, once a zone of tension, a square-Fort broader to a defensive system to support and defend Évora and Lisbon dissipates today as a silent sentinel in time and territory.

This work intends to reflect on the various aspects of boundary condition, and border surveillance, looking to enhance landscape as a place of contemplation, instability and change. The proposal would not only enhance the idea of retrospection on the concept of landscape, but also create something by which the place itself would be identified.

site plan

Expressing this reference of the plans for changes and extensions, specifically the plan that would not be executed and designed by Major Brandão de Sousa, 1817. It consisted in the construction and consolidation of a defensive line reinforced by bastions  and advanced arrows in military mud, which circumscribe the hills overlooking strategically Juromenha from the highs.

This line would be a new territorial boundary that would enable the ability repel any attack. Having origin in this idea of unrealized plan for the construction of a new limit of dominance over the landscape and territory, it is adopted a new system that validates this condition. The expression designed, punctuates the landscape and territory by elements that mark the landscape, creating a sense of boundary, control and surveillance.

The system consists of seven towers which also brings us to the military character of the plan and the condition of the place. Not only aims to set a limit or boundary, but also to create a landscape; redefined by placing towers, which points us back to an old memory to the possibility of permanence. The project builds a non-object, a place, a territory. The towers as volumes in the landscape, draw a border through those who visit and observe from its tops. For those who look to the next tower is caused a paradox of vision, they are externally all alike and is allways a sense of what tower we visited.

the towers

It is intended rigor throughout the project, from conceptual design to the tectonics; specialties inherent adopt the same array of understanding of the towers as a museum and elements in the landscape.


The field of structural concrete construction is waterproof, uncoated or guarantee thermal comfort: an analogy between the ancient tectonic military (in mud military) and the character of the stone masonry fortifications. Its texture is the result of their subsequent reuse wood formwork, giving one a feeling of roughness and wear the concrete itself, the feeling is excited by light around its surface.

The spaces are structurally supported by the walls that form the “box” that characterizes the towers, thick walls define the continuity of those spaces, conveying the sense of being remains of a previous existent continuous wall, this is not understood as a wall, but as volume. To make the structure lighter, box-tubes are molded by placing in-situ of wooden boxes that shape the concrete form-work.





About alexandre vicente

born in 1985, is a portuguese architect with a master degree by the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa with the thesis Surveillance and Frontier, Museum in the Second Line of Defense of Jurumenha between 2010 and 2012 worked at rc+jv arquitectos in some public competitions and made short collaborations with barbini arquitectos and chp arquitectos. in 2010 is the winner of the Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa 2010 student competition with a project for Cova da Moura. in 2012 wins the SECIL Universities Award 2011

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