ESCADAS DO MONTE DOS JUDEUS - PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS
with Pablo Pita Architects
The new “mechanised pedestrian walkways” strategically seek to encourage an idea of urban interconnectivity, translated into a circular pedestrian course on a wide scale, connecting the upper town to the riverside and back. At the upper city level the circulation is historically consolidated, seeking now to connect the Palácio de Cristal hill through Miragaia to the Virtudes hill. Architectonic pieces will draw “mechanised transpositions” and work as “urban staples” on each strategic point to close the circle.
Thus, at Miragaia the old stone stairway on the hill was deeply worked out to include three sets of escalators. The project is widly supported by an existent structuring wall (in fact, an old wall that already can be seen in a topographic blueprint dated from late XIX century), that splits the new mechanical staircase in three non axial sections avoiding a linear “wound” on the historic fabric. This also allows a more organic and fluid inclusion of the new elements and enhances its interconnections with the surroudings.
Looking to deal with the history of the city and its environment and materiality, the intervention draws a symbiosis and continuity with the existing heritage and identity, without, however, failing to assume the new elements as the marking of a new time of intervention (here, the new sharp edge stones and the bush-hammered concrete walls play a crucial role). The existent staircase was kept original, and is now tracked by flowerbeds in the mid plateaus that sprinkle the long climb up.
Architecture: depA Architects + Pablo Pita Architects
MEP: Edgar Brito, CPX , Alexandra Vicente, MSE
Landscape: Hugo Carneiro
Graphic Design: OKPA Studio
Commission: Porto City Council
Photography: José Campos