The Five Residential Settlements Built by Hidroeléctrica do Cávado The Formation of a New Landscape

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César Machado Moreira


In 1944, in the context of the electrification of Portugal, the Hidroeléctrica do Cávado company (HICA) started exploring the Cávado River. Over two decades, HICA constructed five hydroelectric systems, including dams and power stations, but also small settlements to house the company's workers, technicians, and managers. Through a systematic analysis of these hydroelectric architectures, this paper identifies the underling rationale and principles involved in HICA’s design decisions. It presents the initial studies that helped determine the location of the dams as well as the constructions built around them. The paper’s argument is focused is on the settlements built for power station workers, which were fundamental to the construction and maintenance of the related infrastructure. The paper investigates the domestic nature of the settlements, the circumstances that surrounded their construction and the architects involved in the process.

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César Machado Moreira, Centro de Estudos Arnaldo Araújo

César Alexandre Gomes Machado Moreira is a researcher integrated in the Centro de Estudos Arnaldo Araújo and has been a professor at the Universidade Lusíada do Norte since 2001. He obtained his PhD in 2020 from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP). He holds master’s degrees from the Universidade Lusíada (2009) and from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (2000). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1998 from the Universidade Lusíada do Porto.