The Rowing High Performance Centre in Pocinho is located in one of the most beautiful and idyllic valleys in the world – the Douro valley – one of the places of choice for champions of this sport.
The entire project fuses with the reinterpretation of two secular elements of landscape construction in Douro Valley: the walled terraced, a recurrent form of “inhabiting” this place, and the great white volumes of large production units, deployed along the terrain, are formally complex and diverse volumetrically.
The crisp white exterior of the center is a design choice familiar to Portugal, as the country’s landscapes are decorated with stark white, boxy or angular modern structures.
The continuous architecture climbs up the slope like a snake, forming to the undulating landscape below. The project is structured into three key components: Social Zone, Housing and Training.
The training facilities will hold a state-of-the-art, 16-seat “moving water” rowing tank, used to simulate on-the-water training indoors.
The complex will also feature a vast workout area, sports medicine and hydrotherapy room, team room and locker room in addition to office and meeting spaces and storage and laundry areas.
Indoor propulsion tanks, a wide variety of cross training apparatus, a hypobaric or high altitude chamber for both living and training, and a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning equipment will all be easily accessible to the rowers.
The focus of the center will be in the area of sports science and performance technology, specifically, video analysis, biomechanics, human physiology, sports psychology, and nutrition.
As many of these athletes are far away from their families, the housing and social areas are designed to envelop a residential-like feel. Athletes will be able to bond with their team in multiple lounging and dining areas, then retreat to their dormitory when desired.
The facility also includes a library, lecture rooms and offices. In addition to the various indoor rowing simulating equipment, the complex sits directly on the grand River Douro, giving the athletes direct access to an actual river.
Location: Pocinho, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal Architect: Alvaro Andrade Contractor: Manuel Vieira e Irmãos Lda Area: 8000 sqm Year: 2014 Client: Vila Nova de FozCôa Municipality Photo: FG+SGArchitectural Photography, Joao Morgado