Pico Arieiro Visiting Center

headshot of a young man with dark hair and glasses wearing a black shirt
  • Zeyu Cai, M.Arch.II 2017
  • Hometown

    Hangzhou, China
  • Class

    ARCH 5116 Option Studio: Designing on the Limit
  • Instructor

    Paulo David
    Visiting Critic João Almeida

The project replaces the current military radar station and visitor center, proposing an improved organization of the circulation that does as little damage as possible to nature and the landscape. This proposal responds to the historical context of many old cities in Madeira which define the open direction of five viewing decks. The main orientation of the open volume faces back to the Pico do Arieiro monument, which is 1,811 meters tall and points to the capital city, Funchal. The remaining solid space creates an interior human-scale enclosure made up of a patio and a reflective pool. A souvenir shop, café, bar, meditation and educational rooms, and underground exhibition hall connecting the underground parking lot build the core program of the visitor center.

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