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The River Aquarium is located in Mora, a small municipality in the Northern Alentejo region. Given the need to shift regional development from the dependence of an increasingly weaker agriculture economy into the environmental tourism and leisure market, the municipality launched a design-and-build competition for an aquarium that could somehow embody the paradigms of biodiversity of the Iberian river.
Integrated in the Ecological Wild Park of Gameiro and bordering the Raia stream, the aquarium stands amidst a secluded field of cork and olive trees removed from the more intense leisure and fishing activities of the river. The plot’s gently undulating topography forms a basin at the confluence of two small watercourses. Placing the aquarium at the edge of this quasi-natural retaining lake brought together the fundamental relation between its thematic contents and the presence of fresh water.
Architects: Promontorio Architecture
Location: Mora, Alentejo, Portugal
Project Team: João Perloiro, João Luís Ferreira, Paulo Perloiro, Paulo Martins Barata, Pedro Appleton
Collaborators: J. Cancela, A. Braga, R. Correia, S. Reis, R. Henriques
Client: Municipalidad de Mora
Contractor: Teixeira Duarte, SA
Site Area: 17 Ha
Constructed Area: 3.000 sqm
Construction year: 2004-2006
Budget: US $3,000/sqm
Photographs: João Morgado