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Spaceworkers Connect Present With Past In This Cultural Heritage Museum

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Name
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Interpretation Centre of Romanesque
Photographer
Words

Portuguese architecture firm Spaceworkers has designed ‘Interpretation Centre of Romanesque’—a historical-cultural museum comprised of striking concrete structures that form a connection to the past, located in Lousada, Portugal.

The museum is situated on the Route of Romanesque—a historical architecture route through northern Portugal which traces Romanesque monuments unique to the area. Inspired by the architectural traits of these monuments—often characterized by strong geometric elements, sturdy thick walls, and round arches—the architects have thoughtfully realized the construction to appear futuristic, while simultaneously echoing elements of the past. Comprised of seven individual concrete formations positioned around a central foyer, the center contains six themed rooms which traverse the history of the Romanesque period: Territory and Establishment of Portugal, Medieval Society, The Romanesque, The Builders, Symbolism and Colour, and Monuments Over Time. Each space is unique, enhancing the versatile, changing nature of architecture over time. Spanning 650 square meters, the center offers an exhibition space, a large central foyer, a bar, and a library. The central foyer features a glass rooftop which, when outside, also serves as a walkway through the structures; reminiscent of a small street navigating through buildings. This feature ties the concrete volumes together, expressing unity between the varied shapes, and indeed between past and present.

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All images © Fernando Guerra