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Beyond the Edge: Visitor Center in Sagres, Portugal designed by Atelier Monolit

Project name:
Beyond the Edge
Architecture firm:
Atelier Monolit
Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
Tools used:
SketchUp, V-ray, Adobe Photoshop
Principal architect:
Vlad Andrei Popa & Ioan Ralea-Toma
Design team:
Atelier Monolit - Vlad Andrei Popa & Ioan Ralea-Toma
Built area:
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Atelier Monolit - Vlad Andrei Popa & Ioan Ralea-Toma
Competition entry
Site Landmark › Visitor Center

Designed by Architecture Visualization Studio Atelier Monolit,“Beyond the Edge” is a proposal for the international architecture competition “Site Landmark” located near Cabo de San Vicente, in the Algarve, southern Portugal.

The site landmark is meant to mark the wilderness and the boundlessness of the surroundings but should also operate as an instrument for enhancing one’s senses and setting a strong connection with nature. It essentially represents a frame for human existence and experience, shaped as a monolithic, pure volume, naturally emerging and merging with the rock.

visitor center at the edge of cliff with ocean view image © Atelier Monolit 

The sole purpose of this concept is to encourage the visitor to face different instances that the site has to offer. As a means to do so, the building takes the role of a filter, segregating spaces defined by different perceptions of the sky, the sea, the rock, the wind. Contrasts of rough and smooth textures, light and shadow, built and natural elements emphasize the connections between the visitor, space and nature.

cliff building with sea view image © Atelier Monolit 

Scattered slabs engulfed by rock lead curiosity away from the main road towards the south edge of the promontory, where a terrace reflecting the sky, an almost invisible, blurry edge of the horizon sets a relation with the immensity of the place. Framed in a staircase, the ocean pulls us to the central space where one can reflect on which path to choose: the lookout bridge helps rediscover the force of nature, the multipurpose cave-like hall frames a part of history, and the resting area transcends towards the significance of human existence.

concrete visitor center embedded in cliff image © Atelier Monolit 

concrete staircase image © Atelier Monolit 

ocean view from inside image © Atelier Monolit 

Beyond the Edge: Visitor Center in Sagres, Portugal designed by Atelier Monolitimage © Atelier Monolit 

Axonometry drawing Axonometry 

Section and architectural Plan Section & Plan 

architecture diagram Diagram 


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By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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