Arquitectura de los pantanos en España

Author: Callís Freixas, Eduard
Date: 2016
Director: Monteys, Xavier
University: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
School or Faculty: ETSA Barcelona
Department: Departament de Projectes Arquitectònics
Source: Tesis Doctorales en Red

Abstract

Studying Spanish dams from a broad, architectural perspective helps to shed light on their main characteristics and raison d’etre. This standpoint provides the tools needed to address aspects related to form and structure, technique and materiality, organization and implementation, landscape and territory-aspects which are further supported by the study of the chain of strategic decisions which make each of the dams possible, while also including the design process and their role in the typological evolution. Spain has the fifth highest number of large dams in the world. lmpoverished hydrographical conditions converge with a topographic and geologic system which offers a vast number of high quality narrow passes. In other words, poor hydrographical conditions coexist with the tool to overcome them within the same territory. Domesticating water has been the main task of the peninsula’s inhabitants for ages. The sum of brilliant groups of dam projects weaves a story that tells us about the appropriation of a place and the ways in which we try to make our habitat a more pleasant place to live in – and in which every culture, dynasty or government provides its own approach. Dams are studied as constructions directly linked to the site where they stand, to technical developments and available resources; but also -from a wider perspective- they are viewed as the wayin which the ideological stance of the designers and society in relation to nature and territory takes shape. Architecture acts as a catalyst for a viewpoint which is aimed directly at the project, the construction and the ideas underlying it. lt is a different approach to that of the strictly well-learned technical point of view, the contextual one which underlies historic research and that brought about by artistic interventions. Notwithstanding, it draws a map of relationships among them, bringing previously distant views over one same issue closer. This thesis is a cross-sectional reading often essential aspects of dam architecture for eighteen representative dams. Selecting them as examples has allowed us to study them in depth, based on the approach to the aspect that they best represent, and conveniently referenced with other significant pieces.

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