EXTRASTUDIO Wins Competition for Tavira’s Island in Portugal.

Portuguese practice EXTRASTUDIO, in collaboration with landscape architects Oficina dos Jardins, has won the competition for Tavira’s Island Regeneration, in Algarve, the southern coast of Portugal. Launched by Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa in collaboration with Parque Expo and Tavira’s Municipality, the project includes the existing infra-structures and landscape re-qualification. The project shall be finished until the end of 2010; construction is scheduled to start on the fall, 2011.

Sociedade Polis was generated by Parque EXPO, the public company responsible for the construction and management of Lisbon’s EXPO 98, and which as since then the major players behind the successful urban regeneration in all major Portuguese cities, using architecture as a key element in the modernization of public space. Since 2009 both companies have been addressing the coastline re-qualification of Algarve.

Ranked by Lonely Planet as one of the World’s 10 best beaches to travel with children, along with Bali, Hawaii and Sardinia, Tavira’s island is an 11km long spectacular, secluded and unspoiled beach, part of Ria Formosa’s natural park, an idyllic system of islands and marshlands. Together with the re-qualification of the small urban settlement the project addresses, the preservation and regeneration of the local natural conditions, integrating the human activities into a sustainable system.

EXTRASTUDIO will work with sustainability consultants Wee-Solutions in the development of an energy consumption management strategy, waste and water treatment, and in a self-sustained, renewable energy solution. The project will include the re-refurbishment of all the public buildings on the island, a camping site, a new public plaza and new paths, linking the harbor to the beach. Under a low-tech strategy, unique design features will include the re-use of traditional reixa structures, an Arab influenced wood screen, found only in Tavira and materials like white sand-beach concrete and custom made sand-cast furniture.

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