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Time: Rehabilitation of Quinta do Bom Pastor

Building Pictures

Back to the future: on the rehabilitation process of Quinta do Bom Pastor.

"They say time doesn't go back… But what if? What if time does go back?": the new short film by Building Pictures starts with a question. A famous quote by Heraclitus taught us that "you could not step twice into the same river", but what would happen if we could turn back time and relive the past?
That is what Building Pictures has done to show the rehabilitation process of Quinta do Bom Pastor, nowadays the headquarters of the Episcopal Conference of Portugal.

First built in the 17th century, the Quinta do Bom Pastor is located in front of Estrada da Buraca in Lisbon. Since the 18th century it has undergone several interventions, from a parish, it was at first being configured like a nobel house with secondary structures, garden and a fresco house, while, in the following centuries, the different owners contributed to the strengthening of the building.
One of them, Bernardo António da Silva, empowered the construction with three big monochrome panels from the Real Fábrica do Rato, that we see in the video, as with the staircase trompe l'oeil and the fresco painting of the roof.It is only by then that the building was started to be called "Quinta do Bom Pastor". In the XX century, the farm was bought by CML (city hall of Lisbon) that two years after sold it to the Patriarchate of Lisbon - nowadays, as previously said, has become the home for the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.

But the story aren't always told like this, from start to finish: when visiting a place we only get glimpses of the different epochs, glimpses of all the owners, the renovations - like was time was a force more similar to gravity than to an invisible flow, leaving marks, stretches all over the bodies, all over the building. So why not recounting this from the end?

TIME: Rehabilitation of Quinta do Bom Pastor surprises the viewer by actually making fulfilling the desire beside the question "what if times does go back?", responding to an old Portuguese saying ("Time doesn't go back"), inviting the audience for traveling in time over the construction process until the moment where the building was in ruins. At first the it's difficult to detect that time is not flowing in the direction we expect, but, scene by scene, we attend to all the phases of rehabilitation of the Quinta do Bom Pastor. A majestic experiment, both in terms of visualisation of a construction site (a very difficult subject to be portrayed) and in terms of architectonic renovation, as the site was almost in ruin. The frescos, the halls, the decorations were all saved, renovated, rehabilitated: such a project requires an evaluation of values, to maintain the nature of each pre-existing building, the potential of its interconnection, and the inevitable advantage of quality surrounding the landscape.

Perfectly captured by Building Pictures what, otherwise, would be an invisible process is now shown to the viewer, as a way to discover and recover history. In the end of the video, we can hear again the clock, symbolizing the continuity of the life of the building.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architect: Nuno Valentim
Mentioned project: Reabilitação do Quinta do Bom Pastor (2018)
Project location: Lisbon, Portugal
Production and Direction: Building Pictures
Photo-editing and post-production: Sara Nunes
Soundtrack: Bruno Ferreira
Voice over: Ines Henriques

Portugal 2018
Duration: 2' 52"