Place: Cascais, Portugal

Year: 2015

Type: Architecture Competition

Building’s Area: 379 m2

Site’s Area: 700 m2

Architect: Eirini Androutsopoulou

The Art Center is located within  the Fortress of Cresmina in Cascais, Portugal. 

Arkxsite organized in 2015 an international ideas competition for a contemporary Art Center located within the Fortress of Cresmina in Cascais, Portugal. 

The Fortress of Cresmina is a significant landmark on a prominent landscape, a place of cultural heritage and historical significance. Among the requirements of the competition was that each proposal should emphasize, respect and celebrate the site and existing ruins within the landscape, providing visitors a unique experience.

The Art Center aims to create a cultural destination and focus on the protection of the cultural heritage. It will provide a space to display Contemporary Art and gather the community together for performances, lectures and social events. It will host cultural and public events while providing a quiet space for invited visiting artists to become involved with the community and engage in a public realm by producing and giving presentations, workshops and exhibiting their work.


The proposal explores the boundary between building and open-air public space, offering a transitional surface functioning as an enclosed landscape, framed by the castle walls and leaning towards the sea. 

The  roof of the Art Center is treated as an artificial ground, an evolving surface creating ruptures of light and smooth inclinations towards the view, allowing the building’s performance as a cultural facility, as well as a public space.

Sunlight comes into the building in two ways: through the ruptures of the building’s roof and through the dense drilling of its skin. The inner space is treated as a smooth promenade, gradually meeting the program areas and gradually descending from public to more private areas.