A Square in Summer
José Neves cork installation A SQUARE IN SUMMER transforms the Belém Cultural Center Square.
The square is a place of constant movement, with people crossing it, towards the museum, the Garagem Sul and the hanging garden that overlooks the river.
The cork frame to the entrance is 4.2m high before descending to the constant height with which the wall runs along the square.
The panelling-like lining runs along the 68m south wall that encloses the square, in the shade for nearly the whole day.
The cork wall is a modulated wall whose rhythm keeps in step with the metrics that govern the architecture of the CCB.
Like in many Italian palaces, a bench allows one to contemplate the urban spectacle or, if one prefers, to be on his own.
The cork wall has two alternating thicknesses, creating a mass that vibrates with protrusions and recesses.
At the western end of the square, the wall turns, making a corner in which to view films sheltered from the wind.
The height of the wall — 2.8m — is the height of the base of the existing concrete arch that visually opens the square to the city.
With the presence of the wall, of its form, materiality, colour, light and shade, our perception shifts constantly.
The reading of a temporary work can be permanent, lasting in the memory of those who experience it.
Vertical and horizontal edges were treated differently, some being left sharp and others rounded off, so that they resisted and aged differently.
By joining the solid, smooth and warm blocks of cork to the slabs of limestone, the existing wrapping became lighter.
Rather than an object, it was about reaping advantage of the existing space, profoundly redefining its character.