Community gives new life to derelict Lisbon building

in Regional · 01-10-2011 00:00:00 · 0 Comments
Community gives new life to derelict Lisbon building

What is now a vacant and derelict building will soon become a building with a purpose, as a local association proposes a new form of urban redevelopment as well as bringing the local residents of the multicultural Mouraria neighbourhood closer together.

Along Beco do Rosendo, a small square behind Poço do Borratém, near Martim Moniz, lies a vacant building that belonged to Lisbon Town Hall and is now the ‘Manifesto Building’.
The Renovar a Mouraria Association has rented the building from the town hall and started to develop a renovation project.
“Taking the present day into account, the lack of investment in urban rehabilitation, we thought that it was necessary to create a method, an idea, a concept that would allow normal people, who may be cash strapped, to carry out a quality rehabilitation project,” Lucinda Correia, one of the project’s architects, told Lusa News Agency.
“The manifesto ends up being the actual construction work,” she said, because the Artéria Architects’ studio also aims for the project to be a “manifesto to bring people together.”
From this they have also created the ‘EME’ educational programme, which allows children from the local Mouraria schools, who work with the association, to accompany the work process so that later in life “they will understand urban redevelopment.”
“Manifesto also wants to break the taboo of people’s non involvement in construction work. The idea is to bring local people to the site for educational actions, to explain how the project is carried out, so that they then know how to look after the Mouraria,” said Lucinda Correia.
The ‘Manifesto Building’ is still at the project stage, but the association already has an idea of how they want to rebuild the vacant building.
“We want to make a community house. We are going to adjust the covering so that we have a space, which is now the attic, for the association’s offices. The middle floor will be a multipurpose space and the ground floor will have a café with a cultural programme,” Ana Jara, a spokeswoman for the association said.
Renovar a Mouraria aims to carry out several activities in the multipurpose area of the building, such as language courses, cultural workshops, as well as a legal advice office and professional support for local residents, so that they can send their CVs or hand in their tax declarations forms.
The café will be even more “open to the street” and will have parties and Fado music nights. This space aims to contribute to the association’s “financial sustainability.”
“Things will be happening every week. There will be a series of activities and even the promotion of the Mouraria, a neighbourhood that people are not yet used to visiting,” said Ana Jara.
They also aim for the building to “raise awareness”, because “there are many buildings that can also have the same treatment,” said Lucinda Correia.
The renovation work for the building is expected to cost €150,000. Lisbon Town Hall is a partner in the project, having provided €30,000 under the Bip-Zip programme for redevelopment of priority zones. A paint company has also provided a range of materials worth around €50,000, while the association with other partners has already raised €20,000 for the project. It is expected that the building will be i


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