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Competition: Jaspe Quarry mausoleum, Portugal

An international ideas contest has been launched for an ancestral monument in a disused coastal quarry within Portugal’s Arrábida Natural Park (Deadline: 29 June)

Open to students and young architects aged under 40, the ‘Site Mausoleum’ competition seeks proposals for a unique and contextual structure which responds to the dramatic hillside site of the abandoned Jaspe Quarry overlooking the Atlantic coastline.

Proposals for the ‘sombre and peaceful’ intervention – which may range from 60m2 up to 120m2 in size – should include an entrance space, a memory room or rooms, an outdoor garden and a water feature. Concepts could integrate quarry features and may be of any height.

Jaspe Quarry, Portugal

Jaspe Quarry, Portugal

Jaspe Quarry, Portugal

According to the brief: ‘The Jaspe Quarry is a remarkable place within a powerful natural scenery where the remains of an old quarry carved into the landscape, together with the massive cliffs dropping dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean, are notable features within this setting.

‘When generating a vision for an intervention located within such a spectacular place, it is essential that each design proposal emphasises, respects and celebrates the site, while providing visitors with a unique experience.’

‘The overall design of the Site Mausoleum must be sensitive to the surrounding context. There are no limitations in height, excavation or extension beyond the limits of the cliff. The spaces of the Site Mausoleum can be enclosed and / or open to the natural elements; the quarries may or may not be included within the Site Mausoleum design proposal. Because this is an ideas competition, urban planning and building regulations will not be applied to the design proposal.’

Located around 30 kilometres south of Lisbon, the Arrábida Natural Park was created in 1976 to protect the unique ecosystem of flora and fauna within Portugal’s picturesque Setúbal district. The quarry, occupying a sloping site overlooking the ocean, was abandoned when the park opened.

Jaspe Quarry, Portugal

Jaspe Quarry, Portugal

Jaspe Quarry, Portugal

The park is a key landmark of the Península de Setúbal which was once part of the ancient al-Andalus Moorish kingdom and today has a significant fishing and tourism industry. The park featured in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The competition is the latest to be organised by ArkxSite which has hosted a series of open calls seeking contextual proposals for dramatic coastal sites throughout the country. The contest language is English and digital submissions should include one A1-sized anonymous presentation featuring images and text.

Proposals will be judged on their originality and quality, responsiveness to the competition brief, contextual response to the site, and clarity of presentation. The overall winner, to be announced 30 August, will receive €2,000 while a second prize of €1,000, third prize of €500 and seven honorable mentions will also be awarded.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 29 June

Fee

Early bird registration from 11 March to 13 May: €73.80
Regular registration from 14 May to 17 June: €92.25
Late registration from 18 June to 24 June: €110.70

Contact details

Email: info@arkxsite.com

View the competition website for more information

Tower of Remembrance: Q&A with Marc Drewes

The architect at Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen discusses lessons learned designing a conceptual mausoleum for Berlin

How did your contest winning scheme respond to the contest call for a monumental stone mausoleum?

In a European city like Berlin the designated locations for remembering the dead are hidden under trees and behind high walls. But death is an inescapable part of life, so I asked myself: How can the remembrance of the dead find a more conscious place in our collective urban awareness?
Also cemeteries take up quite a huge footprint of our otherwise dense city structures. Why can we not be more resource-efficient with our valuable and increasingly scarce space?

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

The proposed design – the Tower Of Remembrance – is a visible manifestation of this remembrance in the heart of Berlin. The monolithic character of the structure is strong and modest. The material used is limited to concrete and wood. That way an archaic space of silence is created beyond specific religious traditions. A space to say goodbye and to commemorate ancestors.

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing a contextual mausoleum for Portugal’s Jaspe Quarry?

Think about the context – site and rites. What is there and what is missing? Work, produce, create – get mixed up in a process and you will discover a coherent conclusion.

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen

Tower of Remembrance by Marc Benjamin Drewes Architekturen