Cities

Casa das Caldeiras

Edition 55 — 09.05.2022 • 22.05.2022
Casa das Caldeiras

A rare example of industrial architecture, Casa das Caldeiras (The Boiler House), located at the heart of Coimbra, dates back to 1934, when a new thermal power station was included in the General Distribution Plan of the Hospitals of the University of Coimbra.

The plan for the rehabilitation and renovation of the building preserved its original architectural structures: the interior layout, the accesses, the wide windows and the high chimney, as well as most of the machinery, including two imposing boilers purchased in 1939 from the English company Babcock & Wilcox.

The final transfer of the University Hospital to the area of Celas in the 1980s led to the closing of the Boiler House. One year after, the Centre of Photography Studies of the Coimbra Student Union organised the 9th Meeting of Photography of Coimbra there, with an exhibition dedicated to the works of Robert Frank. This event was so successful that the Centre of Photography Studies was housed in this building. The plan designed by João Mendes Ribeiro and Cristina Guedes in 1991 was adapted for the purpose of establishing the Art Studies Institute of the Faculty of Letters there. These works were carried out between 2006 and 2008.

This iconic building is now a cultural centre and a welcoming restaurant and bar, deeply intertwined with the University of Coimbra. A new life was given to a deeply historically relevant building of the city!

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