Armando de Holanda Cavalcanti Park


Rescue of natural historic and cultural potentials

The Armando de Holanda Cavalcanti Metropolitan Park (PMAHC), located 30km south of Recife in the Cabo de Santo Agostinho Municipality, is one of the main natural and cultural assets of Penambuco. With its permitter established in the end of the 1970s, by state decree, the patrimonial protection of the area is the responsibility of Suape, the institution that manages the Port of Suape.

The park has significant tourist potential due to the landscape, geology, historical context, natural environment, and religious and cultural areas giving it an important regional relevance. Currently, the exiting infrastructure is a limiting factor to the visitor’s experience, who generally have difficulty reaching the attractions due to issues of access and lack of signage, monitoring and general maintenance.

legend: 1) hypsometry; 2) environmental fragility; 3) erosion areas and necessity for ecological restoration.

Financial resources are required to overcome existing obstacles and transform the PMAHC into a more relevant tourist destination. In order to solve this issue, a public-private partnership was created. The guidelines for this partnership were drawn up based on technical and financial modelling, identifying the feasibility of investment and benefits that may be generated at the site.

legenda: 1) Re-illumination; 2) connection between the visitor and nature; 3) park with tourist attraction.

The masterplan for the future OMAHC was based on three pillars: Re-illumination, Connection and Tourism. The first, Re-illumination, seeks to highlight the historical, cultural and environmental assets in the park for visitors, such as its religious buildings, military ruins and geological richness. Connection is about trying to make the park an accessible area, where everyone can visit the attraction and use the park as way to connect with nature, water, and local culture. Finally, Tourism concerns itself with the type of infrastructure to be created which seeks to support the visiting experience with bathrooms, food, recreational spaces, transport, spaces for educational activities and a museum.

legend: 1) environmental nucleus; 2) reception nucleus; 3) historic nucleus; 4) water nucleus.
legend: 1) masterplan; 2) transport and access; 3) routes.

Based on a survey of potentials and the localization of main accesses, the project area was divided into 4 nuclei. This division relates to the localization of the main attractions of each stretch and helps create visitation routes that cater to different tourists’ interests. The nuclei are reception, history, environment, and water.

The reception nucleus in the park’s entrance square, from where the nine trails, varying in difficulty, begin. There is also an internal vehicle circulation path and two cable car lines. These circulation axes run through lookouts, historic buildings, ruins, springs and natural pools in the park. Furthermore, the routes themselves are attractions, with stunning views of the Atlantic, sometimes towards the cliffs in addition to the possibility of activities in nature such as hiking and mountain biking.

The main historic buildings of the PMAHC are the Castle Fort of the Sea, the Old Barracks, the Bateria de Calhetas and the Lighthouse Keeper’s house, which was chosen as the main restoration project and will receive new use with a display that recounts the history of the region. Despite its simple volume, of which only exterior walls remain, the Lighthouse Keeper’s house has a great appeal due to its central location in the park, where all paths cross and nuclei meet. In the restoration project, a translucent roof was added along some walkways through the buildings to the upper levels and out to the balconies that are cantilevered and give visitors the possibility to experience an incredible view from the upper floor.

legend: 2) Old Barracks; 3) Castle Fort of the Sea

This restoration guideline was also implemented for the other ruins. We sought to preserve in entirety the elements that have withstood time and carry out minimal interventions that standout with bright colours and differentiated martials to strategically preserve the remaining ruins and invite tourists into the buildings. The Old Barracks and the Castle Fort of the Sea also gained new enclosures with new supports to allow interpretive and contemplative uses.

In addition to the restorations, new buildings were proposed for the park. All have architectural designs that are harmoniously integrated to the topography and are placed in existing clearings to reduce the environmental impact. In the Reception Nucleus there is an entrance building with ticket office, the central cable car station and a museum were proposed, all of which are placed at the top of a large cliff, which reduces the interference with the landscape and functions as a catalyst for water treatment to prevent the progression of soil siltation caused by deforestation.

1) Buildings embedded in the gully; 2) Integration; 3) Project as a water catalyst
legend: 4) natural pools

In the Historic Nucleus, an arrival station for the cable cars was created along with support points for the trails, which are always associated with lookout points, and a small hotel with prefabricated cabins. In the Environmental Nucleus, a recreative areas was added for adventure activities such as zipline, treetop activities and climbing as well as an open access restaurant placed next to the Calhetas Beach, where is it essential to create a secondary access to the park which is it already a consolidated tourist pole.