João Paulo Meirelles de Faria
Ary Henrique de Souza Neto

Bruno Manso
Talita Vianna

Concurso promovido pelo Italian Exhibition Group

The first important decision of this project was related to the dual component of the program: the public skylounge versus the more exclusive observatory houses and how they should be arranged in this remarkable landscape.
As the place with the most important views and the best sky observatory, the castle will host the sky lounge making it available for the observatory house guests, Roccascalegna inhabitants as wells as other visitors to enjoy this fascinating setting.
The observatory houses are then embedded in the hill bellow the main path giving them privacy and incredible views towards the valley to the north and the fortress to the south. The slope between the castle and the main path is kept intact as an important interval to a proper reading of those two ‘constellations’.

The skylounge constellation

The skylounge is sited in the castle and wants to activate and give it a proper function to such important historic heritage - not leaving the fortress only as a contemplative setting. With this decision past and present are put in dialogue to compose a rich architectural complex. The project departs from a historic research of former uses of the castle and its demolished parts. Thus every new building tries to bring back ancient memories inscribed in the present ruins recomposing ancient spaces with a new contemporary materiality.
It is composed of four new buildings connected by four footbridges that form a courtyard and a new track. This new route does not restrain the present visiting tracks; on the contrary, it gives a new set of views and a dialogue with the routes on the ground. The footbridges organize the program allowing easier and more accessible paths to the buildings and mainly it transforms the paradigm of the fortress: it makes it an observatory instead of the ancient more defensive aspect of it. While before the views were constrained to the small openings from within the buildings now the footbridges and the buildings open wide the views to the landscape and sky.
The new buildings are constructed preserving the tower as the tallest building and the place offering the best-unobstructed views.
The four new buildings that compose it are:
A.    The didactic observation building hosting a reception and bookstore at the entrance hall, on the ground floor; library and studies area at the first floor and connected existing buildings; and the observation deck at the rooftop floor.
B.    The two ‘observation towers’ - from the roof of the didactic observation building one can access the two most important telescopes properly placed at two extremes of the fortress in dedicated ‘observation towers’.
C.    The restaurant building is the last stop before the top tower and it is autonomous from the rest of the complex – the kitchen is at the ground floor and the restaurant hall sits just above it with incredible views to the village and to sky through a glass roof.
Beyond those four buildings, at the entrance of the fortress it is designed a first viewing patio recomposing part of the ancient western tower.

The observatory houses constellation

The observation houses are arranged as groups of typologies with a rigid geometry in the landscape. Its design tries to give each typology a specific personality and at the same time preserve some unit with the whole.
The houses have two opposite transparent facades allowing for the views of the valley and to the castle as well as keeping privacy towards the blind sides. At the bedrooms and above the baths are opened zenithal windows for sky observation – even thought flat on top, their large size allows easily for the best southern views.
They are built in dark wood for the least light pollution and lifted from the ground interfering less with the site delicate geomorphology.


Rua Maranhão, 554 / 38
Higienópolis, São Paulo - SP
01240 000


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