Souto de Moura, power plant for Foz Tua dam in Alijó (Portugal)
Courtesy of Arquivo ESM (E. Souto de Moura)
Photos: Arménio Teixeira
The Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, 2011 recipient of the Pritzker Prize, shows his sensitivity to context in this project for the power plant of the Fox Tua dam, in the municipality of Alijó. The objective of the intervention is to eliminate the construction’s nature as a ‘building,’ reducing its image to that of a ‘machine’ inserted in the landscape.
A concrete platform covers the buried tanks and atrium, in such a way that the only thing manifested on the outside is a meter-high longitudinal fissure, hardly visible in the rock. To build this 36-meter-wide platform, it was necessary to slice the mountain with a 45º slant. So that the final result would look as natural as possible, the builders decided against concrete walls to hold back earth. Instead, the rock was cut and clad with a practically imperceptible metal mesh, which has a more subtle effect on the landscape.
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