REMC – Reabilitação da Estação Ferroviária de Macedo de Cavaleiros
Alexandre Loureiro Architecture Studio
The Macedo de Cavaleiros railway station represents a rich heritage legacy both in terms of architecture and anthropology due to its huge presence in the collective memory with major impacts at the socio-economic level that urgently need to be reclassified.
The railway line ceased activity in the early 1990. Abandoned since then, its built complex was the target of vandalism and negligence.
The project therefore intends to reverse this process and clarify the original building by subtracting the various additions and alterations that the complex has undergone over the 90 years of activity. Now seeks for, new uses, new relationships, new scales, new spatialities.
The program foresees the installation of GEOPARK Terra de Cavaleiros with its administrative bodies at the "Passenger Station" while the pedagogical service takes place at the adjacent "Warehouse" where a tribune, capable of receiving groups of students, supports the pedagogical service. It also foresees an exhibition hall at the main warehouse which subsidies an artistic residencies.
A cleaning operation was carried out on the almost 90-year-old construction palimpsest, maintaining and restoring the entire original envelope of the buildings (facades and roofs).
From the outside, new wooden window frames and lime plaster coatings were applied on the stone masonry as well as new ceramic tiles were placed on the roof, maintaining the original shapes and volumes of the complex.
For the interior, exclusively traditional materials, such as wood, were used for the construction of the structure (floor slabs, roof trusses and walls), floor coverings with wood planks and wooden "shirt-skirt" ceilings. The carpentry elements, such as partitions, doors and cupboards, take advantage of the expression of birch plywood. Traditional hidrualic tiles covers the ground floor and hand made tiles give an special touch to the cafeteria ceilling vaults.
The project also offered a public space wich features the reuse of the railroad ties on the pavement and also providing for a long perimetral bench intended for interpersonal interaction.
This complex has a trangerational significance and it is strongly embebed local community since several generations directly/indirectly engaged on its operation, which is why deep respect must be paid to the cultural value that these buildings conglomerate.