Torres Vedras, Portugal
Toy Museum & Library
The interpretation of the angular and irregular urban fabric of the Historic Center of Torres Vedras and the proximity of the open space next to the Igreja da Misericórdia, related to different streets and threading and informed by gables, promote an action where the void is an opportunity to create a museum. Generated on three fronts, different points of entry to the museum are created which lead to access to the adjacent church and to the castle in the background. Setbacks in the surrounding existing buildings allow for a larger central body for the museum together with adjacent blocks on a smaller more human scale.
Mainly dedicated to children and young people, the volumetric game resembles Friedrich Fröbel’s blocks, with angles that produce broken and not torn perspectives. The large closed mass dematerializes with an adjoining portico gallery that is materially differentiated and bleached. The composition contributes to a fair separation and distribution of uses, from a common atrium, with the museum on the lower floor and the library on the middle floor. The stonelike external appearance produces both a contemporary look and evokes the past by replicating the castle walls. Smaller stereotomies, punctually textured and detailed, create novel features in the appearance of the building.