Planning Workshop to propose new uses for the Salt Mine, Loulé, Algarve, Portugal
Free Elective: B & M.Arch - Winter Semester 2015, 29 August to 4 September 2015
The city of Loulé provides an understanding of the process of settlement of the southwest part of Iberia – the Garb Al Andalusia. These hillside settlements provided good solar exposure to the south, easy access to water, to the most fertile and productive land, to the ocean and thus to the known world. The trade and production of rain fed crops, such as the figs, almonds & oranges were facilitated by easy sea routes to central and northern Europe. The rock salt mine of Loulé was first opened in the late 1850’s at 140 metres below ground level. The salt mined there was both used to conserve the products exported and was an export product itself. The task is to propose new ideas and new uses for the rock salt mine which recognise its existing qualities, reveal new connections to the city and promote its further development.
THE SALT WEAVE PROJECT
OUR UNDERSCAPES ARE THE CULTURAL, HISTORICAL POLITICAL AND SOCIAL LAYERS OF THE CITY OF LOULÉ: In the SALTWEAVE PROJECT we declare that any proposals for development in LOULÉ must be premised on strengthening the COMMUNITY and the CITY of LOULÉ. We bring ROCK SALT into the centre and WEAVE it in great slabs into its very fabric. It is urgent to first address the city before addressing the mine. Without a viable city there can be no dependent attraction.
To HEIGHTEN awareness of the SALT MINE in the city centre and enforce the connection to the SANCTUARY., the mining tower is rebuilt on a much larger scale, its new form referring to the tall PINE TREE in the courtyard of Instituto Dom Afonso III.
PLEASURE IS RIGHT HERE IN LOULÉ: In 2005 the ruins of the Original Islamic Bath from the 10th Century was found in LOULÉ. It is the ONLY one of its kind in Portugal and the base for our Interventions. BATHS are places of LEISURE, PLEASURE, SENSUALITY and HEALING. We propose to roof the old baths using ROCKSALT from the mine and to build new baths adjacent to them where salt is added to the steaming waters, a method and metaphor for HEALING and REGENERATION.
After the Salt-Mine and The Islamic Baths, we addressed the plot adjacent to the CONVENT used until recently as a TANNERY - Another Salt Intensive Process - now a Museum. Great Slabs of ROCK SALT grace the square in front, providing places to linger reminding Loulétanos and visitors of the salt lode underneath their feet...
Studying a ROAD MAP, one could reasonably assume that towns were placed and interconnected without any scheme or design. That is often because the roads are simply widened TRAILS, and these trails were originally cut by animals LOOKING FOR SALT. LOULÉ developed along a TRADE ROUTE, it mirrors the SALT LODE underground.
EMPTY SITES and ABANDONED BUILDINGS affect the health of their environs. More than just an EYESORE they also DECREASE the value of their SURROUNDINGS. ABANDONED HOUSES will be transformed into PUBLIC WALLED GARDENS creating places of PARADISE and REPOSE, kept fresh by WATER FOUNTAINS INCREASING the VALUE of the surrounding property. When the ROCKSALT is MINED, it produces a CLOUD of SALT, transforming the air into a healing instrument. Imagine the air of the city when we cover the floors of the abandoned buildings with crushed salt, place salt rocks in basins of water under the chimneys and allow the wind to blow over them......And the salt air filters out through the HISTORIC CHIMNEY POTS filling the city of LOULÈ with CLOUDS of HEALING SALT.
TUTOR: Univ. Prof. Michelle Howard Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna - STUDENTS / ESTUDANTES: Benjamin Grabherr, Anna Franchini, Nikola Znaor, Joana Torres, Malgorzata Stryjek
ORGANIZATION / ORGANIZAÇÃO: Câmara Municipal de Loulé - SCIENTIFIC DIRECTION / DIRECÇÃO CIENTÍFICA: Campos Costa Arquitectos - SPONSOR / PATROCINADOR: EDP Distribução - SUPPORTER / SUPORTE: CUF - Companhia de União Fabril
ACADEMIC PARTNERS / PARCEIROS ACADÊMICOS :
FAUP – Faculdade de Arquitectura Universidade do Porto, Portugal
ISA – Instituto Superior Agronomia de Lisboa, Portugal
IUAV – Università di Architettura di Venezia, Itália
ETSAB – Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona
] a [- Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria
PWR – Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland