Villages in Ribera de Arriba


Villages in Ribera de Arriba

Ribera de Arriba

Valle de Soto


Thermoelectric Power Plant


Villages in Ribera de Arriba

The villages designed by the architect Ignacio Álvarez Castelao are excellent examples of the affiliation between rationalism and organicism.

This is the case of the two housing complexes for workers of the thermal power station in Soto de Ribera, located in Ribera de Arriba and Soto de Rey. The former is designed to house the employees and their families, while the latter did only house workers.

The Soto de Rey village was designed and built in different phases from 1961 onwards, introducing a typological diversity: a total of 120 housing units combining multi-family buildings and semi-detached single-family houses. The design of the blocks in terms of the rhythmic organisation of the dwellings and the configuration of the elevations is undoubtedly similar to the village of La Hermida, in Cantabria, designed by the same architect. The expressiveness of the materials and the plastic virtuality of colour are emphasised in the constructions.

The village in Ribera de Arriba is home to 28 residences for employees of the plant. Its design and its execution were both carried out in four phases between 1962 and 1968. In this case, the architect Álvarez Castelao opted for a single typology, grouping the buildings in fours. The buildings are concentrated in the perimeter area, leaving a garden and play area inside the plot. There are also transition zones that separate the private from the public areas. The units are aligned in two perpendicular rows, protecting the garden area from the wind. The extremely simple construction technology is based on the use of a grey concrete structure generating a reticular pattern on the façades and incorporating woodwork. This kind of roofing is particularly interesting and recurrent in Castelao's work, with a butterfly roof bordered by a thin coping.

Natalia Tielve García