RUIN IN (PRE-)INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE. The Intervention at Quinta do Engenho Novo


The Intervention at Quinta do Engenho Novo

Situated in the picturesque parish of Paços de Brandão, Santa Maria da Feira (Aveiro, Portugal), Quinta do Engenho Novo stands as a forgotten treasure, housing two ruins of rare beauty. The application of the Moreno-Navarro Intervention model revealed profound knowledge that expanded the project beyond physical boundaries, embracing the Rio Maior valley. This valley is marked by the presence of ten similar paper factories, all of historical significance, now relegated to oblivion despite being considered (Pre-)Industrial Heritage.

As we reflect on the values and historical richness present in these ruins and the surrounding landscape, a vision emerged to create a Route, transforming these places into pivotal project anchors. The strategy adopted incorporates the industrial buildings into new programs, transforming the Quinta into a dynamic Municipal Park, dedicated to the local and regional community.

The Ruin of Engenho Novo, a remarkable example of architecture adapted to its surroundings, represents an era when reinforced concrete was an innovation in industrial construction. How can we reinterpret these fragments from the past? The answer lies in preserving the authenticity of the ruins, using conservation and (re)construction techniques that value and recover their essence. The Ruin, in this context, is not an end but a means. It transforms into the Interpretive Center of Engenho Novo, guiding visitors through a journey of the crucial points of the old factory.

Each step in this journey is an opportunity to deeply appreciate and understand the values these historical traces represent. Every space, every nook, is meticulously integrated with the ruin’s structure, as if they were in perfect symbiosis. The Interpretive Center is more than a museum; it is a living narrative of our industrial past, a testament to the innovation and skill that shaped our history.

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