A gabled concrete shell that references nearby vernacular buildings types a protective surface enclosing this manage constructing at a hydroelectric station in central Portugal.

Architect Pedro Geraldes made the manage and observation facility for international power corporation EDP, at its web-site overlooking the Vouga River close to the village of Ermida.

Ermida dam control centre by Pedro Geraldes

The building’s key goal is to offer a base for checking the dam and implementing the required procedures in case of emergency, so it required to be protected from flooding and command superior views of the river.

The facility occupies an elevated plot made by clearing a tiny section of dense forest and excavating a ledge on the sloping ground. The resulting site looks straight towards the dam and enables cars to access the front of the constructing.

Ermida dam control centre by Pedro Geraldes

Conscious that he wanted to build a thing that “avoids becoming just yet another modern box”, Geraldes took inspiration from the nearby vernacular when establishing the gabled shape.

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“Designing an industrial constructing in a forest region, with occasional classic constructions with pitched roofs in the surroundings, permitted me to consider about how a modern industrial constructing may possibly match in this landscape,” the architect explained.

Ermida dam control centre by Pedro Geraldes

“Ermida, the name of the place, implies tiny church or chapel,” he added. “With this in thoughts, the thought of designing a constructing with a concrete pitched roof emerged.”

When the building’s type references classic nearby architecture, its concrete structure establishes it as a modern day intervention that follows the precedent of standard dams and other infrastructure.

Ermida dam control centre by Pedro Geraldes

Board-marked concrete is utilized to build a single volume that types the roof and walls. The concrete type gives the building’s structure, as effectively as its protective waterproof shell.

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In front of the entrance to the manage centre, the structure extends outwards and is punctured by a row of slits on one particular side that permit daylight to filter by means of.

Ermida dam control centre by Pedro Geraldes

The gabled finish facing the parking region is clad in aluminium, with a pair of glazed doors marking the entrance. The opposite finish wall is infilled with glazing to offer an uninterrupted view of the dam.

In 2016 Atelier Pierre Thibault designed a timber clad hydroelectric energy plant in Canada, even though Large are designing a waste -to-power energy plant in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Photography is by Alexandre Delmar.

Project credits:

Architecture: Pedro Geraldes
Structures: COBA S.A.
Mechanical engineering: Andritz Hydro, Efacec S.A.
Hydraulics: FCC Construccion, RRC Ramalho Rosa Cobetar S.A., OPWAY
Electrical energy and communications: Andritz Hydro, Efacec S.A.
Other collaborators (EDP): Diogo Santiago (architecture), Nuno Oliveira (mechanical engineering), Miguel Roque (electrical engineering), Armando Camelo (components), Pedro Silva (components), Ana Costa (security)
Developer/ client: EDP

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