Tua Valley Interpretive Centre
by Rosmaninho+Azevedo

In 1880, the opening of the Douro railway line provided an alternative to waterway transport. Travellers and goods benefitted from the two hundred kilometres of rail tracks connecting the Spanish border and the city of Porto.

And more particularly Porto wines and the products necessary to produce them.

Between 1988 and 1990, the last 28 kilometres of this railway and several sections of tributary lines (including Tua), were closed. In 2008, the operation of the Tua line ceased entirely

The construction of a dam on the Tua River, requiring 16 kilometres of railway tracks to be flooded, made any re-use of the service definitively impossible.

The creation of the Tua Valley Interpretive Centre (TVIC), housed in two disused hangars of the Tua train station, was part of the compensation programme. Its purpose is to allow visitors to get to know the history of the valley.

Rosmaninho + Azevedo wanted to give each hangar a singular identity. The parts dedicated to temporary exhibitions and the welcome space was given residence in one hangar

This volume retained its timber envelope, a centennial building restored "board by board" and was provided with the required insulation inside. 

Separated by train tracks, the second part of the TVIC was more comprehensively renovated, in keeping with an ambitious programme.

The zinc cladding reconciles two almost antagonistic choices: sourcing of a material to blend with its industrial character, while expressing a noble dimension in line with the Douro's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Quartz-zinc corrugated panels were installed on the roof and facade, reinterpreting the timber hangars.

The zinc skin demonstrates that it is possible to change a building completely without disrupting it, to alter use without betraying the identity of a place.

The building's floor area was extended in keeping with the limits dictated by the circulation of trains, in order to house the entire programme. Elimination of the side platforms enabled the construction of a thick wall integrating an air gap.

It produces natural ventilation, minimising the use of air conditioning equipment. 

This transversal extension creates more space for the permanent exhibition areas housed on the ground floor of the second hangar. Housed on the upper floor is the educational service, and the workspaces, on a mezzanine.

Team Rosmaninho+Azevedo (Susana Rosmaninho and Pedro Azevedo)
Year 2018
Location Foz Tua, Portugal
Client ADRVT - Agência de Desenvolvimento Regional do Vale do Tua
Surface 1200 m2
Photography Luis Ferreira Alves 

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us