EDP has invited renowned artists and architects to create the Dams Art Route, a project that brings art and engineering together.
Explore this Route with us and discover the most creative dams in Portugal. We are looking forward to your visit!
Baixo Sabor Dam
Álvaro Siza Vieira
This architecture project stands out from everything else thanks to its clean lines. The project includes areas for surface technical equipment, adjusted vertical accesses to underground facilities, and landscaping treatment in the implementation area. On the outside we can see straight concrete lines, while the bottom and terrace feature materials such as wood and Ataíja stone marble.
Vhils (Alexandre Farto)
Based upon one of the concepts that persist throughout Vhils' work, this large-scale mural was conceived as a tribute to mankind's entrepreneurial and constructive spirit, while also reflecting the intention to humanize built heritage so that the public can relate to and reflect on such structures. The piece also pays homage to the resilience of local communities in the face of the rural exodus that has been affecting the protection of local identity and the underlying cultural heritage.
Foz Tua Dam
Eduardo Souto Moura
Through art and architecture, this work seeks to reduce the impact of the infrastructure on the Douro Valley landscape and create a new cultural attraction in the region. Almost completely underground, this work uses regional shapes and materials such as granite, terraces, and shale walls. In keeping with the iconic Edgar Cardoso bridge, only the machinery will be kept on the outside.
350 meters deep, the 22,126 Viúva Lamego tiles were hand-painted according to the artist's original drawings: an olive tree branch that takes over twenty panels against a yellow and sepia green background. The venue has acquired a new brightness, which has completely changed the experience of all those who visit or work in this space.
Cut out in corten steel, the sentence 'ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER' is 61 meters long and each letter is 2 meters high. With this sentence, the artist wanted to convey the idea that a 'clear day' is an inner state, and that only thus can we imagine and build our future - without clouds. The area is restful and invites visitors to reflect on this sentence, which contrasts with the sky and the water.
Baixo Sabor Dam
José Pedro Croft
This complex work of sculpture and engineering consists of two sections. A lookout was created on the south bank of the river, where 30-times magnification binoculars were installed. On the other bank, five huge mirrors were strategically placed to reflect the surroundings, as well as five frames that highlight certain landscape details. The piece offers visitors a paradoxically fractional and integrative reading of its own relation with nature.
15 meters high and comprised of 10 triangular elements, this sculpture focuses on a conduit that makes water flow down along its obelisks. With this sculpture, made with local granite stone, José Rodrigues sought to draw a contrast between nature and advanced technology, highlighting water as a symbol of life.
Pedro Cabrita Reis
Titled 'The Colour of Flowers', this work covers a huge area of Bemposta dam in a single colour. Like a giant screen of about 13,000 square meters, this yellow patch is also subject to nature-induced changes, when the force of vegetation rises across those walls. This is a work that simultaneously seeks to stand out from and merge into the landscape.
This work consists of several images located inside the building, in the turbine room nave. 71 colorful drawings are hung by an inconspicuous metal fixing system and consist of fragments dealing with energy production in its scientific, technological, safety and visual aspects. The colours and the way glass absorbs and reflects the light inside the nave create dynamism in the perception of observers.
Foz Tua Dam
10 meters high, this black-painted steel work invites visitors to enter and move across a space defined by darkness and silence. There is only a narrow vertical fissure, from which you can see a small portion of the landscape and the sky. The work's simple, minimalist and synthetic design allows visitors to become aware of the power and integrity of Nature.
The book “Sobre a paisagem – Arte nas barragens portuguesas”
About the landscape – Art at Portuguese dams
The Art Route for Dams has reinforced the Group's DNA as an art promoter and has demonstrated that it is possible to give a new face to already emblematic structures, not only in terms of their scale, but also with regard to their historical and strategic importance.
The book “About the landscape – Art at Portuguese dams” is born out of the importance of recording the history of these works, contextualizing them through explanations provided by visual artists and architects themselves.
It was developed with the curatorship of Nuno Crespo, the graphic and design production of Pedro Falcão, photography by André Cepeda, texts by Isabel Lucas and collaborations with Aurora Carapinha, Francesco Careri, Nuno Crespo and Luísa Salvador.
Share your photos!
If you visit these dams, don't forget to record the occasion! Share your photos with the hashtag #barragenscomarte