This particular place is known as a space of architectural reference in the entire universe of the Coimbra University. This requalification was an intervention with an area of approximately of 6.000 sq. m. This space stays in the Upper City of Coimbra and it was used as a car parking which partly justifies extensive gravel coating on its surface giving it an overly harsh ambience.

One of the ideas to this space was safeguard the existing archaeological underground heritage. That was important to ensure and reinforce the institutional scale that is inherent to it; simultaneously it induces a more welcoming and comfortable character. It is proposed in this intervention a large restraint and subtlety which preserves much of the existing surface by invoking the ancient courtyard of arms, including the magnificent peripheral stone flagstones, a noble and peaceful yard of gravel which defines a serene network of paths connecting all remarkable points of the Palace.

The pavement of this network of paths is constituted as an irregular pattern that articulates with the geometric diversity from the surrounding pavement, giving to this space the perception that everything is unifying and a distinctly institutional scale. The stones used in the new paths, or crosswalks and in gutters surface is equal to the current existing one in the Patio. The gutters from the drainage system, which were severely damaged with time, have been fully remade with concrete channels topped with a perforated stone finish. The stones gutters were drilled to enable the eventual installation of a misting system that will soften the Courtyard which becomes extremely hot during the summer months.

The channel height is also reduced to a minimum in order to minimize the depth of excavation or to subcontract to create boxes for paving stone and gravel. It is also planned to plant two small lines of trees along the facade of St. Peter’s College. It will allow that many users and visitors of the “Patio” find a welcome shade, giving the opportunity to chat on a quiet place while enjoying the great beauty of the space or dazzling a magnificent view of the Mondego River Valley.