PROAP is a leading international design practice exclusively dedicated to landscape architecture, founded in 1989, based in Lisbon (Portugal), with offices in Porto (Portugal), Luanda (Angola), and Treviso (Italy).
The partnership is led by João Nunes and currently employs a cross-disciplinary team of 30 professionals, with distinguished levels of expertise in landscape, in its most inclusive conception. The firm’s core business is landscape architecture, namely landscape design development, project management and supervision, sustainable design and development, and urban design and planning.
The firm´s work and research are oriented according to a principle of intervention in the landscape. This mode of intervention is based on the reading and interpretation of place, founded in its most intimate rules and mechanisms. A landscape project is seen as a framework for a succession of stages, steps, and states over a given period of time. In this sense, it acts as the integrator for a complex set of processes; it does not provide a rigid predetermined line of evolution. It is positively manipulates the metabolic dynamics of nature, adding to them a poetic or ideological or artistic sense, and it merges these factors with human factors, be them economic outcomes or simply humans desires and expectations.
The production of Landscape Architecture implies a confrontation with the territory and very often with other professionals, usually Architects that design the built space. Over the years we have developed and consolidated joint ventures, which are flanked by new and fertile co-operations that develop into partnerships. The need to dialogue with many different parties pushed us to develop a clear and dialogic approach, where the landscape design both complements and supports architecture. The complexity of the professional discipline calls for a diverse knowledge base and variety of attitudes, in order to generate the creative and appropriate answers to the client. By bringing together different professional disciplines and uncommon knowledge, we strive toward particularly innovative approaches, where form is joined with technical and cultural content.
A group of external offices consolidated through friendship and gratifying teamwork provides the necessary supporting expertise in the fields of economics, engineering, mobility, energy, ecology, and resource management.
The analysis of the outdoor spaces at the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon came to the conclusion that these pleasant and functional areas were either organized by a system of hierarchy or in relation to the existing infrastructure.
The project aims to create a coherent relationship between interior and exterior spaces, softening rigid boundaries and taking into consideration the extension of the already built space. This dialogue with the architecture acts as a catalyst for a reserved atmosphere of contemplation where spirituality and nature co-exist. The design of the outdoor space defines three diverse typologies with very distinct functions. The creation of protective spaces, exterior leisure spaces and interior courtyard spaces combine to shape a visible uniformity.
Ribeira das Naus
The Ribeira das Naus riverfront is a site with mythological origins forming both national and local identity. It was partially produced by the collective imagination and culture. The myth is linked to a naval plant that operated on this site which produced various types of boats over hundreds of years. Production of these vessels was considered a key factor in the discovery of universal shipping routes and the driver for a first globalization phenomenon instigated by Portugal. The proposed design is the result of the tension between the diverse composition in Ribeira das Naus site (built elements, dry dock) and the differing geometric layers, which lay below the current surface spot height (Arsenal Dock, beaching-place). The revelation and the integration of these historic elements, partially buried and potentially determinative of the site’s character, make up the recreation process of Ribeira das Naus. The architecture of this site in Lisbon’s waterfront landscape is based on the juxtaposition of archaeological and contemporary elements, both revealing the site’s diverse history (culture of the space of the city) and action in the use of public space (circulation, permanence, contemplation, and infrastructure).
Santa Caterina Belvedere
The present intervention area matches to one of those exceptional and fundamental spaces for contemplative explanation, to the fascinating and unique character of the city and for the need that Lisbon citizens specifically have. This unavoidable “explanatory power” – both occasionally exercised (sporadically) by an occasional/quick visitor or reinforced by a Lisbon inhabitant or even a tourist seeking for its confirmation – make us rediscover the identity combination of overlapping, seemingly disconnected of all the actions that are building the truly city. The Urban Regeneration of Alto de Santa Catarina is guided by a set of basic design principles that result:
• On the recognition of the historical, patrimonial, urban and landscaping of the site and recognition of its significance for the population;
• On the need to act having as absolute referential an exhaustive knowledge, separated and systematic from the existences;
• On the conviction of an imperative and smart balance between contemporary and preservation the urban memory of the site;
• On the verification of the need to proceed to significant technical adjustments with the aim of preserving the identity of the group and the creation of conditions for the compatibility of uses to be maintained.