quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam

pedro geraldes’ ‘poc santa luzia’ overlooks portuguese dam 

 

Wedged into a quartzite ridge in Pampilhosa da Serra, Portugal, ‘POC Santa Luzia’ is an observation and control center for the Santa Luzia Dam, conceived by architect Pedro Geraldes. Designed for global energy company EDP, the new concrete industrial facility is situated in the Portuguese midlands, neighboring a sweeping concrete arch dam, an expansive water reservoir, and majestic quartzite formations. The design integrates environmentally conscious features, including recycled steel finishes, reusable gravel for water filtration, and a green roof that discreetly tucks the volume into its encompassing natural environment.

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
the encompassing vegetation ‘absorbs’ the building over time | all images courtesy of Pedro Geraldes

 

 

the concrete volume discreetly emerges from the cliffside 

 

With the design and implantation of ‘POC Santa Luzia,’ the team at Pedro Geraldes were initially met with many site constraints, including the uneven topography, the reduced area available with good visibility for the water discharge structures, and interference with geodesic landmarks. Resolving these issues, the architects carefully situated the building in an area located above the access road, in a ‘semi-buried’ position. This position offers unobstructed views of the dam and water reservoir while ensuring adequate landscape integration of the new construction, with the intervention being underhanded, located under the ground and aligned with a granite wall.

 

From the lower level, the concrete volume is perceptible through a large horizontal opening guaranteeing clear visibility of the interior spaces towards the dam. The building is accessed through a long staircase leading to a patio which serves as an antechamber. With an interior area of approximately 35 square meters, the building is divided into three spaces: entrance, sanitary facility, observation, and control room.

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
main access from the street

 

 

an environmentally conscious design 

 

The sensitivity of the surrounding nature, the regional authorities’ strict requirements for the landscape framework of the intervention, and the limited accessibility to the site encouraged Pedro Geraldes to implement a conventional construction system with an environmentally conscious approach. In a discreet integration and seamless continuity of the surrounding land, a green roof tops the ‘POC Santa Luzia, allowing for the organic growth of vegetation across it. The exterior walls boast half-peak bush-hammered concrete, a material that reveals the aggregate that composes it. The granite wall that previously existed on the site was thus replaced by an identical rough texture, which aimed to echo and relate the building with the surrounding imposing quartzitic ridges.

 

Moreover, corten steel has been used for the exterior cabinet sheltering the heat pump, highlighting the importance of the patio as the main entrance from the outside. Entirely recycled and durable steel is further featured on the staircase and ramp, while reusable gravel in the yard allows rainwater to seep into the ground.

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
a dialogue between the bush-hammered concrete and the quartzite formations

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
red corten steel shelters the heat pump cabinet

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
the patio serves as an antechamber, leading to the main entrance

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
the observation and control center overlook the dam with uninterrupted views

quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
Pedro Geraldes’ POC Santa Luzia opening a view to the water reservoir

pedro-geraldes-concrete-control-center-portuguese-dam-designboom-10

 

 

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quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
 
quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
 
quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
 
quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
 
quartzite ridges nestle pedro geraldes’ concrete control center overlooking portuguese dam
 

project info:

 

name: POC Santa Luzia

location: Pampilhosa da Serra, Portugal
architecture: Pedro Geraldes

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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