Construction in cork in the CCB Square
The Barbas Lopes studio has named the cork intervention that will transform the square of the Belém Cultural Centre in the summer of 2019 Gardens of Stone. This is a restless topography, a floor project that reconfigures the way we inhabit the building and opens up spaces still unknown to the public. Every summer, in partnership with Amorim Isolamentos, Garagem Sul challenges an architectural studio to explore the material qualities – texture, smell, density and colour – of black cork agglomerate. To meet this challenge, the project by Patrícia Barbas connects different spaces in the building, using the comfort and warmth of cork to build several gardens that enter into dialogue with site. By shaping the floor, the work offers vantage points to admire the Olive Tree Garden, the Tagus River or simply the Sky, as well as providing a recreational space between the built geometric shapes and an auditorium to host the open-air cinema programme on warm summer nights. Starting from a unique material and proceeding with an exercise in composition and geometric rigour, Gardens of Stone combines several functions in one form, various forms in one unit, and multiple possibilities in a programme of transformation. After all, architecture also exists to provide the pleasure of warm summer shade.