fortress of nossa senhora da luz renovation



The project aims to create a comprehensive center of the military architecture at the Nossa Senhora da Luz Fortress.
The architectural typology emerges as a possibility of a meta discourse. Several possibilities of interpretation of the building are given, presenting many narrative lines, also important, within the same story.

Starting with a close cooperation with a team of archaeologists, it was sketched an “organicist” path that does not intend to move in a simple diachronic narrative of space and time, but to create a dynamic that allows the perception of the whole and its parts.

The use of the rips opened in the walls – “wounds” that become unifying-elements of space – and the presence of narrow rooms of unusual and impressive dimensions took us to think about strategies of fruition and visualization through the resource of games of mirrors (inspired by The Circular Ruins of Jorge Luis Borges), the screen windows and scenic lighting, revealing the unattainable.

In this specific project, we meant to reveal the constructive typology of the building with thick counter fort walls, where many of the bastioned spaces,due to the structural resistance to ballistic, were land filled. The archaeological campaigns exposed these excavated emptinesses.

One of the biggest challenges of the project is to give an answer to the following question: how does it materialize the passage from full to emptiness?

The materials to the new intervention must express strategies of dematerialization in opposition to the existing body of the building, such as rough plates, polished plates, and mirror plates.









1º prize




Câmara Municipal de Cascais


Cascais, Portugal


Cristina Guedes and Francisco Vieira de Campos

Project team

Adalgisa Lopes, Ana Matias, Cláudia Costa, Cristina Maximino, Odete Pereira, Óscar Ribas, Pedro Jordão, Ricardo Cardoso, Ana Leite Fernandes, Francisco Lencastre, Tiago Souto e Castro, Joana Miguel



Aníbal Costa

Conservation and Restoration

Gabriella Casella


Raul Serafim


Raul Bessa