ENDASA / ALCOA Aluminium Plant

Laviana, Gozón

Together with those in Valladolid and Alicante, this aluminium plant was one of three plants created by ENDASA following a decree from 11 August 1943, which established this government agency within the structure of the National Industry Institute.

After an early factory was built on Raíces beach, the company decided to increase its production in the fifties and thus looked for a new location, deciding upon the right bank of the Avilés estuary: the marsh located between Estrellín inlet and San Balandrán, which was transformed to accommodate a service dock. The new facilities covered an area of approximately 45 hectares, and focused their activity on the production, transformation and sale of aluminium.

Some of the most remarkable elements in the complex are the smelting and electrolysis workshops, designed by the engineer Carlos Fernández Casado and built by the company Huarte and Co., Ltd. They correspond to one of the more fruitful periods in the engineer’s large output, one that focused on the production of prefabricated industrial warehouses. As far as aspects related to construction technology, it is worth noting the innovative use of precast concrete – one of Fernández Casado’s most remarkable contributions – on account of the advantages it provided: versatility, easy assembly and disassembly, safety, resistance and the ability to cover large surfaces.

The large smelting warehouse features a rectangular floor and a pitched roof, and suggests a very rational design. The precast concrete structure, arranged in cross section elements, is made of pillars supporting bridge crane beams and simple trusses isostatically suspended on them.

Both electrolysis workshops are laid out parallel to each other, and feature a reinforced concrete structure and arched roofs. The qopen-air yard was built nearby. The complex shows simplicity and clarity, sturdiness as well as regularity.

Natalia Tielve García