Observatory / Machado Costa


© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

Text description provided by the architects. The Observatory rises above a labyrinth of canals, salt marshes and small islands that punctuate the landscape of the lagoon. The building serves as a welcome centre for the Natural Park’s visitors, who search for the biodiversity of the Vouga River’s estuary.


© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

The building is positioned near the cost line. The up and down of the tides submerges part of the building’s base, allowing direct access from its interior to small boats that take the visitors off to the lagoon. 


Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Inside, one can find an exhibition area and an auditorium, offering a panorama of the surrounding landscape. Through four huge and deep windows, visitors will experience four glimpses over the territory: the serenity of the lagoon’s water plan, the rippling vegetation growing at the dikes, the slow movement of the sky and the profile of the city.


© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

Sections

Sections

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

Former craftsmen of an old deactivated shipyard in Aveiro built the Observatory. Two carpenters shaped the wooden parts of the formworks, and naval locksmiths manufactured the metal elements. The construction of the building lasted for more than a decade.


© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography

© Vasco Neves Architectural Photography