Indulto Á Ponte

Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid

Project idea

57 years after it´s inauguration, Lisbon's most important symbol is dying and facing imminent restructuring. Otherwise, the deterioration would make it image be lost forever.

Indulto Á Ponte is therefore born from material responsibility, about what to do with those materials that seem to have consumed their useful life.

The project is considered a process, encompassing everything from the technique to the creative part of the design. A free contruction material which can be given to the city of Lisbon by reintegrating the bridge sections into the urban fabric.

Project description

The project doesn´t start with an invented narrative; it begins when the President of Portugal Infrastructures estimates just 50 more years of useful life for perhaps the most important monument in all Lisbon.

2,700 steel tons as a free construction material, which, thanks to its recycling, will not emit 10,000 tons of CO2 and can be given as a gift to the city of Lisbon by reintegrating the bridge into the urban context. The project is now considered a process, encompassing everything from the technical to the creative part of the design.

Starting with the dismantling and pick up of the pieces. These are transferred to the workshop element, located on the industrial coast near Alcántara neighborhood, which allows to analyze, solve the pathologies and prepare the pieces for their diffusion and final implantation in the city.

At the exit of this workshop, the original sections begin to vary in morphology. The design of the project will be the structural material doing its work. Implanting the new structure that transforms the pieces into optimal, rigid and habitable elements. Obtaining as a result, structural framing, where we are able to recognize the original pieces, and at the same time, the added structure, necessary to house its new structural function.

Knowing the system, we start the last part of the project, how to use the pieces of the bridge and the type of implementations that can result.
The Lisbon City Council publishes every year the sites in need of intervention, what better than to link the gift of these pieces to these spaces?

The project describes three interventions in Lisbon, but the most beautiful thing is that there could be 3 or there could be 30, they could be large artifacts or host more domestic scales, being completely different narratives but certainly implicit in the project.

The Result: A bridge that has given up its parts, that is now younger. A monument that is no longer only observed from far, but we are touching it at the same time, recognizing where it comes from.
What was once a bridge is now city and the monument still in Lisbon.

Technical information

All materials degrade. Currently, architecture wastes 5,000 tons of steel per day that are thrown into the Garbage, contaminating the entire process. But steel is a material that does not lose its qualities, neither hardness, resistance nor malleability. The tools were already in Lisbon, you just have to use them. That is why it was decided to take the political germ, the deterioration and the pathologies as a project opportunity

Part of the project is the disassembly and unhanging of the pieces, while the bridge continues to function, a provisional structural system is incorporated, which maintains road traffic during removal, pieces weighing up to 75 tons and 22 meters of span descend into the estuary. with the same lifting system as used in its construction.

These are moved to the workshop element, a complex located on the industrial coast of the Alcántara neighborhood, which allows the development of the necessary logistics to analyze, resolve pathologies and prepare the pieces for their dissemination and final implementation in the city.

It is at the exit of this Workshop where the original sections begin to vary in morphology, this part of the project is key and is based on learning from the structures. It is studied how these pieces work, now supported in three types of positions, how the load diagram varies and if, due to this, there are elements that change in their way of working, beams transformed into pillars, elements that change from traction in compression, the KN that are now transferred from the supports…

With this analysis, the new structure is implemented that transforms the piece into an optimal, rigid and habitable element. At this point I understood that the design of the project was going to be the structural material doing its job
Obtaining as a result frameworks, where we are able to recognize the original pieces, and at the same time, the added structure, necessary to house its new structural function.

The final orientation of the pieces is key to determining the spatiality they host. From the vertical and horizontal piece, volumes are generated inside its structure, which will house the closed spaces; While if a piece is positioned tilted, it is fully inhabited, the reinforced original span section now becomes the support structure of the floor. forged, which are designed in a modular way, easy to assemble and maintain, with an installation system integrated into its support structure.

To generate the interior spaces respecting the idea of translucent environments, an enclosure will be generated composed of: a cellular polycarbonate façade on the inside, an air chamber as an insulator that favors ventilation in summer and protects the interior in winter, and a façade screen-printed methacrylate exterior with folding panels, which folds and wraps around the entire enclosure.


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