The City Library and Museum * occupy the Convent of São Gonçalo, construction of the end of the sixteenth century, row of which was already heterogeneous and significantly altered by asset of the complex hardships that it endured throughout four centuries of history.
The building, situated in the center of Amarante, still, in spite of its transformations, maintain a very strong presence in the agglomerate profile of the city, constitutes together with the river and an old bridge, its' image.
The intervention aimed to, first of all restore the Convent and its authenticity, accepting the contradictions that result from its multiple experiences: sometimes introducing modern structures capable of responding to the news functional realities, sometimes extolling pathways, spaces and more expressive architectural elements.
The application of this generic concepts finds its most significant consequence when were rebuild the two cloisters, which the original spaces were distorted by the demolition of the body between them.
The new structure, destined to exhibitions and additional equipment of the Library-Museum*, while respecting the missing volumetry, proposes a renewed dialogue with the history, through an unique design, profoundly stimulated by its pre-existing.
Due to the state of degradation of the construction structures, the hybrid nature of the architecture as well as the historical documentation, the recovery of the structure, was not and could not be considered as an archaeological restoration. It results essentially from the interpretation - necessarily subjective - of the spatial organization and typological construction extremely receptive character.
Always a controversial issue of architectural restoration, found in this event a motivation for the revival of a monument that now, has a new civic and cultural meaning, that will be a point of development to the city and its surrounding territory.
Alcino Soutinho, architect
Luís Casal, architect
José Miranda, architect
* Currently Municipal Museum Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso