This high-performance center for rowers is located close to the Douro River, in the Côa Valley, an area abounding in archaeological sites and engaged primarily in growing wine grapes. This is a zone with an exceptional landscape characterized by the contrast between steep terraces (called socalcos and occupied by vineyards) and rural constructions, white and bold in volume.
Taking advantage of the clear delimitation between parts of the program – on one hand the rest areas, and on the other hand the public zones and the actual rowing facilities – the building takes inspiration from the same chromatic and material contrast suggested by the landscape. As if they were terraces, the rooms for use by rowers are arranged in half-buried rows which follow the curves of the terrain, and while on the outside they imitate the surroundings through earthy tones, on the inside they evoke their telluric character in the unfaced concrete finishes of the walls, tenuously illuminated through skylights which poetically make the sky visible from the beds. On the other hand, the community and sport areas are grouped in a series of immaculate white volumes of diverse shapes, which are connected by a narrow circulation spine whose faceted volume snakes along the terrain picturesquely.