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Metro do Porto
Parque Maia Station

Maia Portugal
2001-2007

A viaduct is not a bridge.

The landscape dictates that this viaduct must be a “bridge” – but a bridge over a river without banks, which is nothing more than a link between the rural and the urban and which expresses a route which serves not only to mark the distances, but also affirm the differences between them both.
The metro station is situated on this new “bridge” between these two worlds, marking the entrance to the city.
It is a mark in time in the passage from one place to another. It is therefore not a place in itself. On the contrary it is more like a hiatus between places.
It was therefore intended to make sense of a land which has built up due to the simple accumalation of objects, without any hierarchy and where there is no evidence of a design strategy.
It is this search for sense which allows relationships to be established with that which is built and, in doing so, make empty spaces significant.
It is also the search for sense which makes it possible to articulate an urban object with a landscape.
However, the station is always a building, a building in a bridge or a bridge building such as the Vecchio Bridge in Florence, or any of the Bridges of Madison County.
In this case, and due to circumstances concerning the land itself, the bridge and building have to coexist without one becoming more important than the other. Therefore the station, more than a building, is a structure and such as one, expresses itself as a link and simultaneously as an interval between different “worlds”.

It is this effort to reduce down to the essencial, to the logic of “construction engineering”, which drives the almost anulled physical presence of the station, turning it into a simple structure integrated into another, bigger and more significant in terms of its relationship with the land. In this way the protagonism of the bridge as an agent of all urban activity is affirmed.
This is because the image of a bridge is always the bridge itself. Or to put it another way, the image of a bridge can only be that of its own structure. Everything else is an accessory.