REHABILITATION PROJECT OF THE FIRST SPINNING FACTORY IN THE COUNTRY
The rehabilitation project for the country’s first spinning mill, in Santo Tirso, is in its final phase. Porto canal was on site with the architect José António Lopes to get to know the architecture project with signature ad quadratum arquitectos. The rehabilitation project takes place in what was the first spinning factory in the country, one of the most emblematic factories in Vale do Ave and, once, one of the largest textile companies in Europe. The architectural project is for Hotelar Têxteis and will occupy more than a third of the space of the old factory.
The building is assumed as an emblematic landmark of the industrial heritage and symbol of a golden age of construction associated with the dynamics of the textile industry in Vale do Ave. Here, the new logistics and distribution center (offices, raw material, product) will be installed. finished and production) of that Portuguese company, in a total area of 37,000 m2 of land, 22,000 m2 of which are covered area, spread over two floors.
AN UNCONVERTABLE REFERENCE IN THE COLLECTIVE MEMORY OF SANTO TIRSO
The architectural project proposal accommodates the industrial and storage organization chart of a ‘new’ textile, oriented and sensitive to heritage preservation, as a cultural value and as support for new industrial practices based on cutting-edge technologies, sustainable and suitable for the preservation and enhancement of the relevant ‘contendor’ built where it will be installed. Located on the left bank of the River Ave, and close to the city center, the factory is an essential reference in the collective memory of Santo Tirso and a fundamental space in understanding the development of the region and industry: a complex of great architectural and historical relevance in the scope of industrial archeology.
The ad quadratum arquitectos office assumed the responsibility for the recovery of this building bearing in mind that: “Intervention and research in buildings and collections of heritage interest, not only classified, are an art that requires a very specific knowledge and requires a great deal of knowledge. respect for the buildings to be intervened. We are recovering the industrial ruins respecting the pre-existing structure. The old buildings “give back in double” what we give them. ”, Says the architect José António Lopes.
THE RIO VIZELA WIRING AND FABRIC FACTORY
Born in 1845, the Rio Vizela Spinning and Fabric Factory came to employ more than three thousand people. Of the approximately nine square kilometers of area that the company occupied, only the walls and housings of some machines are left. It was one of the most emblematic factories in Vale do Ave, the heart of the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Industry and one of the largest textile companies in Europe, but it did not resist the arrival of the new century.
The Rio Vizela Spinning and Fabrics Factory was the protagonist, with other factories in the Vale do Ave region, in the process of local industrialization, of a markedly textile nature. The first years of activity were marked by the country’s political and economic instability. The Civil War of 1846-47 and the beginning of regeneration in 1851, contributed to the precarious situation in which the national industry found itself. The first years were thus marked by some difficulties in the disposal of stored products and by the heavy customs duties that were levied on cotton. The war of secession in the USA (1861-65), increased the price of cotton, allowing the factory to turn the stored product into profit.
In the following decades, major works were carried out to expand the facilities and modernize the machines. The factory extends to the other side of the Vizela river, multiplying the number of workers and orders. It expands its activity to African colonies by establishing factories in Angola and contacts in Mozambique. She is responsible for the arrival of the train in Negrelos, as well as participating in the work for the recovery of the road that connects it to Vila de Santo Tirso.
In 1911 a major fire destroyed part of the four-story building where the wiring was located, demonstrating the need to build safer facilities. During the 1930s and 1940s, the factory then extended to the right bank, concentrating its main buildings there until today.
In the early 1950s, the factory had 3,000 workers, feeding 31,624 spindles and having around 1,200 tears in operation. In 1953, a Rio Vizela Spinning and Weaving Society was formed, which leased the factory and structures attached to the outgoing company, through its partners.