Patrimonio Industrial Hidráulico. Paisaje, Arquitectura y Construcción en las presas y centrales hidroeléctricas españolas del siglo XX

Information about the Thesis

  • Author: Javier Molina Sánchez
  • Date: 4 de febrero de 2016
  • Director: Fernando Vela Cossío, doctor en Geografía e Historia
  • Academic committee or jury:

    Presidente: García-Gutiérrez Mosteiro, Francisco Javier

    Secretario: Rivera Gámez, David

    Vocal: Peris Sánchez, Diego

    Vocal: Méndez Madariaga, Antonio

    Vocal: Muñoz Cosme, Gaspar

  • University: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • School or Faculty: Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura
  • Department: Interdepartamental
  • Source: Archivo Digital UPM


This PhD thesis deals with the study, from an architectural, constructive and landscape point of view to a type of industrial heritage: the dams and hydroelectric power plants built in Spain during the twentieth century. These examples have been chosen because of they have been designed by relevant architects in the History of Spanish Architecture in cooperation with distinguished engineers forming a rewarding multidisciplinary team. We will analyze figures like Antonio Palacios, Casto Fernández Shaw, Ignacio Álvarez Castelao or Miguel Fisac in collaboration with engineers like Carlos Mendoza, Juan José Elorza or Luciano Yordi. This is not only to make a catalogue of heritage but also to search the essence of them, what makes them different from other industrial buildings in order to generate a workflow to allow us to extrapolate this methodology to other fields of knowledge of Industrial Heritage. The large number of representative examples makes this field of investigation one of the most important of the industrial heritage in Spain. However, they have been little studied from the point of view of the architects who worked on them and usually take up a very little space in the works of general application. This research project has studied a wider view of these interesting works of the hydroelectric industry, approaching them from an architectural analysis and providing unpublished material obtained from both visits to buildings as well as historical consulted. We are talking about something that goes beyond and becomes an Artwork integrated in a spectacular natural environment, where the brutality of the scale increases the visual eloquence of its architecture. They are authentic cathedrals of energy, where the aesthetic aspects (architectural) and functional aspects (engineering), come together in a game of double scale (the building of the plant and the wall of the dam, ie, Architecture and Landscape) brilliantly solved, and must be claimed as an active part of the History. That’s why we talk in this PhD thesis about Landscape, Architecture and Construction.

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