Among the labyrinth of channels, salt marshes and small islands that here and there punctuate the landscape of the lagoon, stands the Municipal Center for Environmental Interpretation of Aveiro. Here visitors to the Ria Natural Park are welcomed, introducing them to the biodiversity of the Vouga estuary.
The building is located on the coastline, at low tide. The tidal movement – ​​controlled by the Ria’s system of dikes and floodgates – submerges part of the base of the building, allowing direct access, from the interior, to small boats that take visitors to navigate the lagoon.
The Center is conceived as an observatory. Inside, an exhibition area and an auditorium coexist, which stands up from the ground to offer a panorama of the surrounding landscape. Through four huge and deep windows, four views of the territory are framed: the serenity of the lake’s water plane, the ripple of the vegetation that grows on the dikes, the slow movement of the sky and, in the distance, the city’s profile of Aveiro.
For the construction of the Centre, we used former builders from the Aveiro shipyards, which had been deactivated in the meantime. The wooden parts of the formwork were built by two carpenters over the course of four years, and the metallic elements were manufactured by naval locksmiths.
The construction of the building spanned more than a decade.

[1st Prize in limited competition; with a.s* – atelier de santos]