The Tua Valley Interpretive Centre (TVIC) is installed in two former railway warehouses that were unoccupied in the Tua station, in opposite sides of the Douro line, and the program that was proposed for each of them explored the complementarity and the character of each building.
Intervening in the impressive landscape of Douro is a huge challenge and a great privilege. With this responsibility, we developed the project with the idea of memory and transformation always present, seeking that the observation of values of the place pointed out clues for the change.
The railway context was also in itself a factor of organization of the existing constructions, introducing a longitudinal vision of the whole set (besides all the security constraints).
The intervention in the wooden building (south), with a more remarkable construction, implied the creation of new external platforms of access and a more assumed design at the level of public space treatment and the connection with the street. This building, restored board by board, is now transformed into the large welcome and reception space with a complementary program of sanitary facilities and storage installed in a volume/ container that doesn’t touch the existing one, allowing the appreciation of the original space and the valorization of its structure.
It was also sought that the intervention was able to reduce the need to introduce elements that are strange to the very nature of the building, namely the installation of air conditioning. The creation of the inner lining, allowed to add matter to the construction, which with its air gap and thermal insulation in the ceiling and walls, associated with the closure of the upper spans creates a comfortable environment with very short thermal variations ensuring the appropriate conditions for its use.
In the northern building we explored a more direct relation with the station building, which is reflected immediately in the metallic access walkway - which crosses a small existing garden, and a more contemporary approach in the treatment of the pre-existence (meanwhile rebuilt after a fire in 2009).
In the interior we developed the spaces in view of the installation of a long-term exhibition on the ground floor. On the upper floor we organized the spaces for the educational service and the remaining workspaces on a mezzanine.
Constructively the strategy seeks to take advantage of the durability of zinc and a ventilated façade in conjunction with the thermal inertia of the existing construction mass. In this way the zinc facade unifies different situations of natural ventilation, namely in the recesses of the spans of the south and north elevations guaranteeing the constant natural ventilation that takes advantage of the prevailing winds.
In summary, we tried to unify the two construction times with the continuous skin in corrugated zinc on one side and the wood slatted on the other, reinterpreting constructive systems and textures.
Office founded in Porto by Susana Rosmaninho and Pedro Azevedo. We foster architecture practice with complementary multidisciplinary enrichments, such as museology. The various projects and works have in common being anchored to clear formal concepts that correspond to building strategies that are easily perceived, of which we highlight the work for the Tua Valley Interpretive Centre and the Project for the Requalification and Musealization of Aristides de Sousa Mendes House. In addition to the distinctions in public competitions, our work has been published nationally and internationally. In 2018, Tua Valley Interpretive Centre was awarded the Jury’s Special Award at the Archizinc Trophy, was nominated for the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2019 and is also a finalist for the Bauwelt Award 2019: First Works. For the set of works and projects, our office was also a finalist of the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Awards (AREA) 2018.
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