Where Architecture meets Landscape
Updated: Jul 24
Touring in the mountainous region of the Beiras, the interior of Portugal, we were caught up by the beauty of this remarkable construction, adding even more attractiveness to an already stunning landscape.
All over Portugal there is remarkable contemporary architecture, and it is outside the big cities the architects have created some of the most surprising constructions. The pedestrian bridge over the Carpinteira valley by J. L. Carrilho da Graça in Covilhã is a masterpiece.
Covilhã is a medium-sized Portuguese city at the foothills of the Serra da estrela, the highest mountain in continental Portugal, covered by snow during the winter.
The topography is very rugged and the city was recently subjected to a mobility plan that has made the lives of citizens and visitors more easy, inclusive and pleasant. The bridge was designed as part of this major plan and extends along 220 meters linking the (former peripheral) neighborhood of Penedos Altos with the city centre.
Seen from afar, the construction is as elegant as a serpentine, curving at the ends where it grabs the ground. Walking across the bridge deck is a unique experience. Day and night and in both directions, it offers dazzling perspectives on the landscape along the way.
A very carefully proportioned construction that unites strength, utility and beauty. An exceptional project that puts Covilhã at the top of the already long itinerary of Portuguese contemporary architecture.
Ponte Pedonal sobre a Ribeira da Carpinteira, Covilhã / Portugal (2003-09)
Carrilho da graça Arquitectos + AFAConsult
Post and photo credits: Lisboa Architecture Walks and Trips