Pocinho Center, olympic rowing, portugal, Álvaro Fernandes Andrade, Douru River Valley, world heritage site, grass terraces, south facing skylights, passive solar design, serpentine architecture

The rowing center is divided into three distinct zones: the first contains the communal and social spaces located at the top of the slope; the second zone consists of 130 dormitories for accommodation; and the third is comprised of the training facilities. In addition to its staggered ascent up the river valley, part of the building is tucked beneath a series of grassy roof terraces lined with long and narrow skylights.

By building into the ground and keeping a low profile, the rowing center boasts low energy costs and passive solar design. South-facing skylights warm the concrete-clad complex and the grassed rooftop terraces enhance the double thermal insulation. Contrary to its seemingly arbitrary layout, the structure is laid out to maximize exposure to sunlight during the winter months and shade during hot summers. The rowing center’s serpentine form was also designed to accommodate future expansion plans that would minimize potential disruptions to the landscape.

Via Dezeen

Images via Fernando Guerra