ZAVIAL BATTERY MIRADOR

COASTAL INTERVENTION

The project imagines an architectural intervention to enhance the visitor experience of the Zavial Battery. A path connects a series of architectural elements nestled within the terrain. As visitors move along the path, their vantage point shifts and different aspects of the site are revealed and discovered. Visitors can experience the space across multiple scales, from the smallest of pebbles to its flora, fauna and the endless horizon. The project acknowledges the uniqueness and beauty of the site and tries to expose its entire environmental spectrum. Distinct areas such as the cliff walls, the intertidal zone, and the ocean itself, are made accessible for visitors to see, touch, and experience. 

Upon arrival, a pathway descends into the the ground and the surroundings slowly disappear. Mineral Sands, pebbles and larger rock formations are now at eye level.  Coastal grasses, seasonal flowers, insects and birds endemic to the Algarve coast can be observed from up close. Continuing along this path visitors enter the information space where detailed information can be found regarding the area’s rich historical, geological and biological context.  

A staircase leads to the elevated observation deck situated within the battery ruins. As visitors climb the steps the horizon gradually emerges. At the top, a full panoramic view of the site is revealed and one can behold the neighboring shorelines, cliffs and the vastness of the Atlantic ocean. 

The path continues, descending along the Zavial Battery cliff. A sitting area, which can be experienced in company or solitude, rests at its base. Cliff walls, eroded and intricately textured over centuries by the forces of the ocean, are the backdrop for this space. A space to experince misty ocean breeze and the rumble of the waves crashing beneath.  

Paths bleed into the ocean. Tidepools with barnacles and other marine life inhabiting this intertidal zone can be observed on both sides.  As one moves away from the cliffs and towards the sea the ballustrades lower and dissapear. At the very end visitors are left fully exposed to surroundings, their experience solely dictated by the state of the ocean.