Coauthors: João Góis & David Sinclair
Photos: Fernando Guerra FG+SG Photography (Ruins), João Morgado
Conversion of the Citadel of Cascais into a Charm Hotel
The Citadel of Cascais, a key element in the military strategy of the defense of the Tejo River bay in the vicinity of Lisbon, constitutes a fortified set, whose dimensions, content and interior morphology determine an embryo of an urban network, approaching it to an urban fabric of a city with an introvert development. Its configuration is the result of several construction campaigns over the almost four centuries of existence to fulfill the necessary and required conditions to a defensive structure, culminating in its abandonment and consequent degradation.
With morphological and organizational characteristics common to the fortresses of the time, the Citadel of Cascais presents a central square – the square of arms - delimited by four buildings, almost city blocks, according to a defined hierarchy. The building to the south of the square assumes itself as the hinge of the intervention, allowing, from the axis originating in the Gate of Arms (the main and only access to the interior of the citadel), to center the hotel in the space of the square and the citadel, ensuring a strong visibility consistent with the location of the entrance and reception of the hotel, on the ground floor and, on the first floor, of several rooms facing the square.
Over the building, which was once the South Battery, is added a new body of rooms, extremely horizontal and low, in glass and with subtle metallic roofing, which designs a shadow cornice accentuating the fortress crenels within a gradual transition between the massive volume and the sky. Consequently, the rooms of this new body enjoy the magnificent view over the ocean, while the image of the fortress remains intact.