Picote Hostel


Location: Miranda do Douro, Portugal
Date: 1999-2011
Awards: Silver Medal in the 2012 International “Domus Restoration and Preservation” Prize

Client: EDP

Fátima Fernandes and Michele Cannatà
(Rehabilitation Project)
Rogério Ramos
(Original Project)
João Archer and Nunes de Almeida

Riccardo Cannatà
Dário Cannatà
Amaya Santirso
Bruno Silva
Luís Vale
Marta Lemos
Nuno Castro
Francisco Meireles
João Pedro Martins
Victor Correia

Structural Engeneering
Gop – João Maria Sobreira

Gop – Raquel Fernandes

Mechanical Engeneering
Get – Raul Bessa

Electric Engeneering
Ohm – Fernando Silva

Inacoustics – Octávio Inácio

Photographic credits
Luís Ferreira Alves
Dário Cannatà
Miguel Rocha

Edivisa – Empresa de Construções, SA


The building, built as a guesthouse for the managers of hydroelectric Hidro-Electrica do Douro, between 1955 and 1958, is an example of a particular indentifying moment of the Superior School of Fine Arts of Porto’s production in the early 50s, during a period where the different disciplines and artistic elements such as architecture, design, landscape design, sculpture and painting, converge in the realization of the total work of art, a bahausian conception, from the spoon to the city.
The hostel’s building consists of two overlaping volumes of simple geometry, apparently without touching. An image of lightness and suspension of the higher volume is used to affirm the capacity of control of the technique through the use of pilotis and large glass surfaces on the ground floor. The ground floor volume contains the common areas and service areas.
The expansion of the hydroelectric power station, still in progress, has provided an opportunity to recover the building that was left abandoned for about 10 years.

The objectives set out in the project phase:
- Philological restoration of the architectural object in accordance with the original design;
- Restoration and reintegration of fixed and mobile furnishings;
- Integration of systems needed to ensure public use in accordance with regulations of elimination of architectural barriers; (lift, disabled toilets in public areas, room with accessibility and facilities for the disabled);
- Replacement and integration of plant networks (Electric, water, management, security, fire protection, air conditioning and mechanical ventilation, telephone and computer, etc.);
- Adaptation of the technical areas of service and storage to function as exhibition space and archive of documents related to the history of the construction of hydroelectric power plants on the river Douro.