The Algarve Energy Park is an initiative to build a model sustainable cluster community in the south of Portugal. It aspires to attract leading partners in the renewable energy and preventive healthcare sectors. Urban Matter was asked to design the master plan for this ambitious program with a Renewable Technology Center as the key part of the project.
The project site lies between the hills and the southern coast in a beautiful picturesque landscape of the Algarve. Away from the tourist coastal industries the master plan program is designed to provide social and economic diversity on a regional and local level. The development will create working, living, educative and leisure environments, active both day and night.
Currently, the natural and agricultural character of the land is made up of valleys and hills. With respect for this natural landscape, we approached the Algarve Energy Park as a layout for a sustainable master plan. From the very beginning, we've been involving global professionals from different fields to balance the social, cultural, economic and ecological dimensions of sustainable design.
Green corridors will connect natural habitats and provide necessary continuity of flora and fauna. Reintegration of the indigenous species of trees will be a valuable addition to the biodiversity of the area. Together with the Biodiversity Park it will provide ecological recreation and make a connection to the existing landscape.
Density is a powerful instrument in a sustainable approach. We envision the new development to occupy a minimal footprint to provide compact building clusters in a park-like setting. Next to efficient land use, it will minimize the impact from inefficient inner building climate control on the environment and preserve a connection to the beautiful landscape.
Able to adapt to future conditions the project will incorporate shared spaces and multifunctional areas that will strengthen on-site activities. This flexibility of the master plan is crucial in long term developments such as the Algarve Energy Park.
Urban Matter is currently working on the Algarve Energy Park to design a recognizable identity of a destination where Nature meets Technology in the benefit of a sustainable future. It will obtain an international edge character within the setting of local Algarve culture.
Urban Matter is continuing work on the distribution of the main program. The core activity of AEP is research and the development of renewable energy technologies with its main focus on solar energy. With the possibility of local manufacturing and implementation, these new technologies will also become part of the General Public Experience.
The project is receiving recognition and support from the Portugal government which aims to become the world leading country in sustainable technologies. Over the past ten years Portugal has been a leading driver for innovation in energy and healthcare, establishing world class academic programs, as well as becoming a leading renewable energy producing country with the largest operational solar farm in Europe and being the front runner in wave energy development.
Name: Concept Master plan for the Algarve Energy Park in Portugal
Team: Alexander Chemyakin, Jasper Hermans
Program: mixed use development, knowledge cluster
Site Area: 200 ha site area + 210 ha of Natural Biodiversity Park
Construction Area: total 250.000 m2
Location: Algarve region, Portugal
Project year: 2009
Client: Algarve Energy Park
Photographs and images: Urban Matter