Silvón Power Plant


Silvón Hydroelectric Power Plant

Doiras, Boal

Silvón hydroelectric power plant (1955-1958) was built on the Navia river by the company Electra de Viesgo Ltd. between 1962 and 1969 and was designed by the architect Ignacio Álvarez Castelao and the artist Antonio Suárez.

The plant is fed by Doiras dam, located downstream from Salime dam. It features two generator sets, Silvón I and Silvón II, that started running in 1959 and 1964 respectively.

The plant building is made of solid concrete walls and houses the powerhouse and the workshop, while an annex on the side houses all other facilities. One of its most remarkable achievements has to do with inner and outer lighting. For instance, a remarkable light panel was produced in the powerhouse by taking advantage of the putlog holes from the scaffolding. Some prefab concrete luminaries on the outside, under the benches and on the parapet edges, also made of concrete, reinforce the outline view of the plant at night.

Castelao was also in charge of furniture design, and commissioned certain interior design duties to the artist Antonio Suárez, such as the monumental glass pane covering the whole front wall of the workshop, a plinth made of plastic material with lively contrasting colours on the side walls, and a faceted colourful mural of Our Lady of the Light on the hall. The glass pane is worth noting, featuring two sections separated by a concrete beam and arranged in fourteen vertical stripes. Based on geometric principles, the colours are arranged according certain pattern, with shades of blue and green for the centre and red for the sides, in diagonal lines.

Natalia Tielve García