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Urbains Constallations of theaters and towers

2013/Projet Europan 12 "La Ville Adaptable"


Can Onaner / William Parlon / Georgi Stanishev

Localisation Porto Brandao,

Almada, Portugal

Projet 2013


The founding assumption of this proposal is a constellation of distinctive public spaces : lookout towers, open-air theaters and places. These spaces are still and discontinuous. On their own, they are spaces in suspense, waiting to be awakened by some unexpected intrusion, by a walker or a beast. It is, however, their multiplicity and their interrelations that animate them as a constellation of active places within a new complex urban system. These are spaces from which to depart and spaces to reach, spaces of meeting and spaces of staying still, spaces from which to look and spaces to be looked at. All these public uses suggest different temporalities, different speeds of displacement and different spatial and visual contacts.


The architecture of each space is conceived as a particular contextualization of a predefined form. They all come out of a single architectural prototype – an octagonal peripheral wall – and decline in a multitude of scenarios: an open-air theater, a hostel with public centre, urban places with housing, belvederes, an elevator tower, etc. The original octagonal wall is declined in its morphology, thickness, material and scale, in order to respond to the different specific conditions: program, topography, views, and access.


All of these little towers, theaters and public places are connected to each other within a constellation. The multiple visual and physical trajectories generated by this constellation create a sense of ubiquity. The public spaces and the architectural objects are conceived as similar recognizable forms. They are correspondent sings looking at each other. The place and its sign are here and there at the same time. They seem to travel in space and time, from one hill to the other, from the riverside to the inner grounds. The public place repeats its simple and naïve but recognizable form in order to transform the special contexts in which it is introduced. It creates a set of diverse situations and scenarios which are both radically contextualized in their environment, and autonomous within the constellation.

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