Natural Hot Springs “DONA BEIJA”

M – Arquitectos: “Poça da Dona Beija” reconfiguration have improved the security conditions and the preservation of the complexity of this natural resources. “Dona Beija” has been one of most popular places in São Miguel’s Island, Azores, in last few years. For this reason, some of its existent materials weren’t adequate for the enormous affluence and has become necessary to replace its whole walkway pavement with local wooden deck panels – japanese cedar or cryptomeria locally called. In our point of view, the regional’s natural materials approach is an important way to have a better union between the natural and human interventions. In another word, two constructions were demolished, the ticket box office and a temporary volume, which were located in the main entrance of the complex. Therefore a new building was designed to replace and optimize the entrance way such as the lobby.

In terms of architectural shape the new construction seeks a balanced relationship with the surroundings. To this end, we proposed a building based on a parallel sense to the existing south wall, and a sloped roof coated with crytomeria timber. The interior spaces are made of timber-clad and the carpentry in crytomeria’s wood. We designed a ticket box, staff washroom, a storage space and gift shop. In order to avoid the occupation of public water domain, the implementation of the new building results from minimum distance of 7 meters recommended from the river’s edge. Our intervention also consists of two new pools, a tank and foot bath, in a view to increase the capacity of the thermal area of “Dona Beija”. These new pools are located on the north river’s edge and they were built according the existing structures and their access is provided by a footbridge in metallic structure and coated with timber-clad. The lighting network was carefully inserted in order to view the different wooden paths and naturalness of the surrounding ambience in the night hours, through an indirect lighting.

Architecture Studio: “M – Arquitectos” – Monteiro, Resendes, Sousa Arquitectos, Lda
Project Name: Thermal Pools Poça Da Dona Beija
Project Type: Thermal Pools
Area: 154,00 M²
Location: Furnas, S.Miguel, Açores, Portugal
Gps Coordinates: 37.7693604, -25.3191688
Project Year: 2013
Inauguration: 2015
Architects In Charge: Arch. Fernando Monteiro,
Arch. Marco Resendes,
Arch. Miguel Sousa

Collaborators: Arch. Ana Cristina Silva,
Arch. Pedro Furtado,
Arch. Diana Policarpo,
Arch. Inês Vieira Rodrigues,
Arch. Rodrigo Sequeira Dias,
Arch. Vanessa Silva.

Stability And Infrastructure/ Engineers: Eng. Ricardo Pacheco, Eng. Marco Ávila
Construction: Civil Açores, Lda
Client: Private
Photography: Paulo Goulart


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