Ice cream flavoured: mint ceiling, stracciatella counter, aluminium floor. A heroic counter inside a tiled room, another inside a glass box.
fala is a naïve architecture practice based in Porto, founded in 2013. Led by Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luísa Soares and Ahmed Belkhodja, while both hedonistic and restrained, the atelier takes lightness and joy very seriously.
fala was commissioned by maat to recreate the spaces it uses every day to welcome its visitors – the new Info Point and the Ticket Office, both located next to the Central building.
Assembly of the structure of Central Tejo’s naphtha tank on 26 March 1949. Photo by Kurt Pinto, from the EDP Foundation Documentation Centre.
Assembly of the roof structure of the Central Tejo’s naphtha tank on 4 April 1949. Photo by Kurt Pinto, from the EDP Foundation Documentation Centre.
Although it was designed to be coal-fired, during the more than sixty years it was operational, Central Tejo used other alternative fuels. From 1945, naphtha would become the best solution to fuel the Central’s high-pressure boilers given the national shortfall in coal supply. For that reason, between 1948 and 1949 an 8,000 square meter tank was installed in what was known as the coal square (or plaza). The power station was officially de-activated in 1975. In the period from 2000 to 2003, important preservation, conservation and safeguarding work was completed on the buildings and equipment in the aim of adapting the space to a museum. It was at that time that work was also undertaken on the tank to avoid or minimise its rapid decay. Today, this building is part of the EDP Foundation Campus and included in maat’s Power Station Tour.