Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - View of the main exhibition room

Zero Museum - Digital Arts Centre

Tavira, Portugal

Located in Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo – Tavira, in Algarve, and promoted by the Instituto Lusíada da Cultura, the Zer0 Museum project proposes the rehabilitation of part of the local agricultural cooperative’s installations into a museum and creative centre dedicated to the digital arts. The need to preserve and take advantage of the site’s landscape and architectural heritage is defined as a central theme for the project, taking into account the local ethnography, culture and tradition.

Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - View of the existing grain silos
Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Side view of the existing entrance building
Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Front view of the existing entrance building

The existing building is composed of several wings, attachments and successive extensions, previously dedicated to processing cereal, from which the large silos particularly stand out, highlighting the volume, not only of the building, but also of its surroundings.

Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Exterior view of the main entrance building at night

The impressive spatiality of these silos, and the consequent desire to make them a clear part of the museum’s day to day use, lead to further interventions aimed at integrating them with the project’s functional spaces, punctually removing their end slabs and creating paths along their interior.

Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Interior view of the renovated silos

According to the previously mentioned strategy of preservation, the choice was made to rehabilitate the existing building in its entirety. Special care was placed in the preservation of its industrial character and the large machinery that is still present. In this way, intervention in the existing building is kept to a minimum, ensuring only the necessary compliance and performance of the programme, and focusing on highlighting the existing features.

Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - View of the existing building
Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - View of the existing building and machinery
Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Temporary exhibition room
Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Administration and research area

The pre-existing building becomes then a background, not only to the activities introduced, but also to a number of smaller architectural interventions that make these activities possible. In their materialization, these interventions acquire a language of their own, ethereal and reversible, which marks them clearly as something that was added.

Their construction in painted wood further allows them to stand out from the existing building, while simultaneously referencing local and traditional building techniques.

Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Existing building scheme
Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Proposed extensions scheme

On the exterior, these interventions are limited to the creation of two new volumes, fundamental to the building’s new use, which, despite their contrasting language and materiality, closely follow the existing volumes in their size and shape.

Zero Museum Digital Arts Centre - Exterior view with extensions

Client

Instituto Lusíada de Cultura

Status

Under construction

Project date

2014-2015

Construction date

2016-Present

Construction area

2.500 m2

Awards

1st Place in Public Competition

Courtyard House - Exterior view of the southern facade

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