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Quinta da Gruta Urban ParkGreen Areas Renovation
Vila da Castêlo, Maia
1998-2001

The Quinta da Gruta Estate has always been a unique place in the territory, not because of its historical significance, but because of its the almost “geographical” centrality.

This is a condition that should be preserved, not as a simple and exclusive memory of that geography, but as a possibility and opportunity to give body to an operation of urban reordination capable of placing discipline on recent unqualified constructions, that occupy the territory without rules or any ordering efforts. The adaptation and the extension of the Estates’ physical space into an urban park, beyond representing an attempt to maintain the view of the extension of the existing farming fields, it tries to assume in its strategically defined plan as a fundamental and essential agent in the transformation of the territory of which it is a part.

It is now required that the Estate acquire a dimension and a use adequate to the populations’ dynamics, in a manner that will respond to the demands that can be foreseen, and that will provide a more forcibly urban character.

It is exactly in that sense that the Estate should assume itself as a space for leisure and education, as a park area and articulating element for the remaining activities settled and to settle, this way promoting, the citizens environmental conscience while increasing their participation in urban life.
This group of activities and their respective infrastructures will develop in successive projects to allow a division of the respective works.

In this sense the urban park is not truly a project, it’s more like a master plan that will support and frame various projects that will occupy the territory, that as a whole will give it, its body.
This circumstance of a “non-project” or a “project under construction” also means a way of keeping it open, permanently available and attentive to all the adaptations that the occupational dynamics will suggest.