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MVRDV and OODA Selected to Transform Historic Refinery into an Eco City in Portugal

MVRDV and OODA Selected to Transform Historic Refinery into an Eco City in Portugal

An international consortium led by MVRDV and OODA, in close collaboration with LOLA, Thornton Tomasetti, A400, and LiveWork, was selected to design an eco-city within the city of Matosinhos, Portugal. The project aims to transform a large-scale urban project, turning the former Galp Energia’s refinery into a green and innovative district with housing, a university campus, and a large park, among various facilities. The transformation of Matosinhos will serve as a catalyst for a greener future. The refinery's heritage will promote a sustainable future with projects that attract investments in innovation and education, attracting a new population to the city.

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Established in 1970, the refinery is set in Matosinhos near Porto, and has been important for the local economy since its inauguration until its decommission in mid-2021. The intention now is to turn the site into an environmental conscious and innovation district, making better use of its geographic location and preserving parts of its industrial heritage.

MVRDV and OODA Selected to Transform Historic Refinery into an Eco City in Portugal - Image 2 of 4
© Walter Branco

The project will bridge between the past and present by providing the industrial heritage with a new purpose. Aiming for a more sustainable future, Portuguese energy company, Galp Energia is extracting more energy from sustainable sources besides oil and gas. As explained by MVRDV's founding partner Winy Maas, the team is striving for a city area that is not only eco-smart and attractive to live and study in, but also where greenery grows over and dunes cover sand, while the industrial remains. 


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We have a plan for a city within the city of Matosinhos, with a local genesis that enhances the site's unique location connected with the Atlantic Ocean through a beautiful beach, but also close to the people - local and global. Impregnated by the local culture, we want to design this future city with a global consciousness of sustainability that translates in the re-naturalization of the place, bringing back autochthonous species and natural environments, while reusing existing industrial heritage and installing cutting-edge technology. This will not only allow the production of green energy but it will also create an unprecedented and resilient urban space. -- Rodrigo Vilas-Boas, Partner at OODA

MVRDV and OODA Selected to Transform Historic Refinery into an Eco City in Portugal - Image 3 of 4
© Walter Branco

The multidisciplinary team will insert a green infrastructure and restore the relationship with the surrounding dune landscape, which are important principles of the master plan. Before initiating construction, the refinery needs to be dismantled and the soil remediated. The new city will be developed in phases in close cooperation with the municipality of Matosinhos, the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of the North (CCDR-N), and the University of Porto.

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Cite: Dima Stouhi. "MVRDV and OODA Selected to Transform Historic Refinery into an Eco City in Portugal" 23 Jun 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/984130/mvrdv-and-ooda-selected-to-transform-historic-refinery-into-an-eco-city-in-portugal> ISSN 0719-8884

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