Porta de Lamas de Mouro, Melgaço

The sovereign power of the space surrounding Porta de Lamas de Mouro results from the natural forces and poetry of its elements: pure watercourses, green meadows, the mass of arboreal bodies and, finally, the pine trees, the heather and the carqueja that spread up the cliffs that surround us in a very near horizon. The intervention promotes a progressive interaction with all these elements: the linear trait of the field induces the user to descend and become involved with the soil, the water and wetland environment of the pond, with moss, pebbles and reeds, in a close and unique perspective.
Walking though the groove, the user ascends to the surface again and is led to a second piece marked by two vertical elements which, through the density of the trunks, the sound of the branches and the light and shadow play of the birch, throws him intro a trail and finally takes him through the mountain massif. From the outset, to be in Gerês is to be faced with the power of Nature. When the authors designed the piece, they sought to increase this confrontation, not limiting its design (which is imposing) or its use (which is intrusive, experimental) to a merely contemplative, passive and distant experience, reduced to the mere act of looking. All senses come into play in this immersive and subversive experience with nature. The design of the piece also portrays this confrontation: it grooves, tears, and mark the ground in a rational, straight, assertive and unnatural way. It is the strength and reason of Man’s design and technique overpowering that time and place. But, on the other hand, the piece predicts that, in some days, this time and place may overpower the piece (and the Man), its surroundings and the access to the mountain, rendering them useless by the strength of the water or the whistle of its power. One day, that time (that nature) nay even transform it or destroy it forever. It was truly ironic, in fact, to witness the power struggle between the technique that was necessary for its construction and the force that began growling from the entrails of the ground. The certainty of the confrontation was confirmed from the outset.

Technical information:
Architecture and detail: depA architects
Commision: CIM Alto Minho
Project management: HODOS 
Construction: Retail Concept S.A. + MAOS Carpintaria
Photography: José Campos Photographer