The Rowing High Performance Centre in Pocinho, northern Portugal is an example of complex modern architecture. The new mega-structure is located in one of the most beautiful valleys in the world – the Douro valley – one of the places of choice for champions of this sport. The project was envisioned by Portuguese architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade (an official website is not available at the moment) and is composed of three key sections: Social Zone, Housing and Training. Intricacy is the defining characteristic for the design: “Terraces and clusters of buildings, abrupt, tense connections tearing through terraces, steep ramps, and stairs between walls, usually in the open, are all covered here in order to meet the needs of the program” said Andrade.

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, these building components are formally complex and volumetrically diverse. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Joao Morgado Architecture Photography]