Course: Project and Critique of Public Space

Date: January 2010

Instructor: Cristina Castel-Branco, PhD

Collaborators:  Manuela Gonçalves and Nuno Faia


The old Quimiparque business park, located on the South bank of the Tagus River, was one of the largest and most important industrial areas of the country during the 19th and 20th centuries. Through the years, this park housed some of the most polluting facilities, mainly related with the chemical industry, including fertiliser plants and fuel refineries. The economic crisis has been causing this area to progressively shutdown, leaving behind not only dangerous residues that leak to the river and its protected estuary, but also scores of abandoned industrial infrastructures, as well as unemployment and health problems affecting the population surrounding it. This project intends to renovate and upgrade the river front and its relation to Lisbon, facilitating the establishment of new modern economic activities, and creating public spaces to ensure qualified multimodal accessibility and articulation with the nearby city of Barreiro. The proposal is based on the study of both the dynamics and conditions of the site, making use of the river’s proximity for pleasure and transportation, while decreasing pollution levels and creating a modern multifunctional urban area.