During the Architecture International Year, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and the Association of Architects sponsored a tendering procedure with the aim of selecting a project for the construction of the Côa Valley Art and Archaeology Museum. First prize was given to the team coordinated by the architects Pedro Tiago Pimentel and Camilo Rebelo, from Porto.
The building and exhibition projects were developed from the original winning proposal. “The evolution of the museum body – whilst metamorphic prosthetic – aims to embed the building into the landscape. Therefore, it is a strong and affirmative gesture but also a subtle intervention, adapted to the topography and in dialogue with the surrounding landscape.” The building is four stories high (roof/Floor 2, Floor 1, Floor 0 and Floor -1) organized in a particular system of vertical and horizontal connections. The roof possesses a parking space and offers a scenic view of the landscape. Two elevators and a staircase directly connect the roof to the museum’s lobby. Floor 0, where the permanent and temporary exhibitions are located, is structured by a ramp/corridor that crosses the entire body of the building. “At the end of the ramp’s first section, stands a connection hub that distributes visitors towards different parts of the Museum.”