“Beyond the Edge” is our proposal for an international architecture competition for a site landmark located in Sagres, Algarve, Portugal. The site landmark is meant to mark the wilderness and the boundlessness of the surroundings but should also operate as an instrument for enhancing one’s senses and setting a strong connection with nature.
It essentially represents a frame for human existence and experience, shaped as a monolithic, pure volume, naturally emerging and merging with the rock. The sole purpose of this concept is to encourage the visitor to face different instances that the site has to offer. As a means to do so, the building takes the role of a filter, segregating spaces defined by different perceptions of the sky, the sea, the rock, the wind.
Contrasts of rough and smooth textures, light and shadow, built and natural elements emphasize the connections between the visitor, space and nature. Scattered slabs engulfed by rock lead curiosity away from the main road towards the south edge of the promotory, where a terrace reflecting the sky, an almost invisible, blurry edge of the horizon sets a relation with the immensity of the place.
Framed in a staircase, the ocean pulls us to the central space where one can reflect on which path to choose: the lookout bridge helps rediscover the force of nature, the multipurpose cave-like hall frames a part of history, and the resting area transcends towards the significance of human existence. Source by Atelier Monolit.