Alteration of the original function – a private and exclusive inhabited space, a public and inclusive space for production and diffusion of culture, associated to the state of conservation of the systems and places included within Serralves’ landscape, made it necessary to implement a Restoration Project.
This intervention made it possible, in an integrated and anticipated manner, to enhance and reclassify this landscape, and served as an operational instrument in order to analyse and act within Serralves Park, in a total, systematised and integrated manner, in space and time – extending well beyond the specific period of the restoration works.
The general philosophy underlying the Restoration Project for Serralves Park, whose studies were initiated in 2001, was Rehabilitation. This consisted in adaptation of the spaces and/or the structuring elements and composition via various interventions, which made it possible to resolve problems affecting current and future use, function and aptitude. Rehabilitation is an intervention process by means of which the integrity of the heritage in question is safeguarded.
The intervention area defined by the Recovery Project, included the space of the garden designed in 1932 by Jacques Gréber and other areas of the Serralves Foundation’s estate, such as the Southern and South-East borders, with farming characteristics and the Woodland located to the West. Only the area around the Museum of Contemporary Art, together with the Collection of Aromatic Plants, was excluded from the Recovery Project. The construction job for implementation of the project was subdivided into 14 time periods and staggered in terms of the respective zones, thus enabling Serralves Park to remain open to the public during the works, and the construction process, accompanied by an in situ and in visu communication plan, also had a pedagogical function.
Authorship of the Project was shared between Claudia Taborda, Director of the Park at the time, who in this capacity defined the programmatic content and co-ordinated production, and João Mateus, landscape architect chosen by means of a public tender in order to implement the project.
Design of the Recovery and Enhancement Project of Serralves Park was accompanied by a Consultative Committee constituted by the landscape architects, Aurora Carapinha, Teresa Andresen, Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles and Ilídio de Araújo.