© OTO arquitectos

Fogo Island Natural Park Head Office // OTO arquitectos

Santa Catarina, Mosteiros, Cape Verde

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Text description provided by the architects.

On Fogo Island, at 1800 meters of altitude, in the crater of the volcano, there is a village with about 1200 people living on the fringes of legality, occupying lands of the state where they organize mainly agricultural activities, ensuring their survival in one of the poorest areas of Cape Verde.
The status of protected area of national interest forced the zoning of farming, with limitation to construction, and introduced rules against the free occupation of the town, generating collisions of interests with frequent clashes.

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

The Project of the Headquarters of Fogo’s Natural Park was born from the need to consolidate the identity of a protected area and to conciliate the population with the new park management. Accordingly, we designed and created spaces for cultural and recreational enjoyment for both residents of Chã das Caldeiras as for visitors; Workspaces were also created for employing technicians that will be responsible for the management and treatment of the protected area.
The natural landscape, deeply marked by the volcano and its crater, is a unique and rare beauty, with the potential to become a world heritage site.

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

In this context, the basic idea was to design a building so as to be part of the landscape and the landscape being part of the building, and to have sort of a melting of darker skins. During daytime, the long walls shape the building and blend with the road creating a maze and a mix of shadows.

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

At night, bright light is avoided, so to protect the native birds, all lighting is indirect. The challenges of shortage of local resources became an opportunity and, therefore, the building was made by the people and for the people, using local materials and techniques.
To address the lack of any public utility grids, the building has a guaranteed energy independence with solar energy as the main source and a double water grid; water is taken from the roofs and daily used water supplemented with large deposits, stocked annually after the rainy season.

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

The whole building is surrounded by ramps and spaces with representative plant species of the natural park extending to the exterior of the building and merging it with the surroundings.
The whole building is surrounded by ramps and spaces with representative plant species of the natural park extending to the exterior of the building and merging it with the surroundings.

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

The building is divided into two zones: Cultural Zone – composed of a covered auditorium, an open auditorium, library and terrace bar; Administrative Zone – comprises meeting rooms, offices, laboratory and technical areas.
With the Headquarter fully operational, the Natural Park is increasingly valued, which contributes to enrich the social, cultural and economic sectors of the island, starting to integrate and enhance in a harmonious way the surrounding space..

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

© OTO arquitectos

Fogo Island Natural Park Head Office Gallery

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