Portuguese studio Comoco Architects has been in charge of the renovation of city of Pombal’s Castle Hill in Portugal. Prior to the renovation, during the last decades, Pombal Castle and its surrounding have been secluded from the city. Although the city of Pombal lied at the feet of the Castle, the Castle area was marginalised and for the ordinary city user, the Castle was only a background for the everyday. “Rua do Castelo”, a street defining the South and West perimeter where the hill meets the city, embodied the boundary that defined those two realms.
The area’s vegetation – nowadays uncritically cherished by the population – is, paradoxically, the result of the abandon to which this area was devoted throughout most of the 20th century.
The project for the reorganisation of Pombal Castle’s hill was launched by the city’s municipality with the goal to promote the re-centralisation of the Castle area. The basic brief of the commission encouraged a design that would help to foster the use of that historic area by both residents and tourists. The basic premise was that the project would improve the connections between the urban areas at the bottom of the hill, the hill itself and the walled precinct. The articulation with the Castle, the hallmark of the city, should be tackled in order to preserve its importance for the population’s shared identity. To increase the area’s attractiveness some facilities were created to answer needs such as car parking, comfortable and safe pathways, resting and contemplation areas and a cafeteria.
via: Comoco Architects