The scope of this project consisted in the conception of an industrial facility for EDP, a global energy company, to act as a base for the observation and control of a dam in case of emergency.
Located in Ermida, in Portugal’s midlands, this area is defined by a beautiful course of water and is surrounded by a large forest.
The building needed to stay in an elevated location, protected from floods and allowing a perfect view from its interior to the dam. This made it necessary to intervene in the landscape, resulting in an elevated level platform and vehicle access leading to the entrance of the building.
Designing an industrial building in a forest area, with occasional traditional constructions with pitched roofs in the surroundings, allowed me to think about how a contemporary industrial building might fit in this landscape.
How could this building avoid being just another contemporary ‘box’?
Could a contemporary building interpret, in a modern way, the traditional constructions visible in its surroundings?
Dams and associated buildings, in Portugal, are traditionally built in concrete.
Ermida, the name of the location, means small church or chapel.
With this in mind, the idea of designing, a building with a concrete pitched roof emerged.
A contemporary industrial project that could reinterpret traditional roofs covered with tiles and also identify with the name of the location.
The concrete appeared as a continuous shell – skin and skeleton – that served as walls and roof, as well as finishing and waterproofing material.
In between, covering both the front and rear facades, other materials such as aluminium and glass emerged:
A contemporary industrial building that aimed to reinterpret traditional constructions, honour the location´s name and respect the materiality of the architectural history at EDP.
Photos: Alexandre Delmar (A Caixa Negra)
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: pedrogeraldes.com
ARX Portugal - a return to the local, to the specific, to the architecture made of small but solid impulses.
Started in Berlin (1991) by Nuno Mateus and José Mateus, ARX Portugal is an architecture office based in Lisbon.
Our architecture doesn’t follow a lexicon or a stabilized language. In every new project we try to find the “vocables” for a specific language to the new context. More than searching common points between each new project and the previous, our interest focus more on finding differences. It is as if we were always returning to zero. And, at a certain level, that is our conception of innovation.
Evidently this approach also opens up a vast research field. Not having to work within rigid precepts, we search an experimental path where we can test new concepts starting from what interest and fascinates us. Meanwhile, wise seem to us the words of the Brazilian poet and philosopher António Cícero that once said: “what is interesting, it is not much writing something new, but writing something that the reading doesn’t date it.”
The future is always hard to predict, but, com-probingly, after the revolutions, of the disinterest in history and the globalization, there will be certainly a return to the local, to the specific, to the architecture made of small but solid impulses from the things that arrive to us.
Visit the Website: www.arx.pt