Client: Common Land Soutelo de Montes
Location: Pontevedra, Spain
Coordinates: 42.5262856, -8.2972467
Climate: Temperate, Oceanic / maritime
Environments: Forest, Mountain
Scale: 80 ㎡ Extrasmall
Types: Landscape, Observatory
This project is situated on the common lands of Terra de Montes in Galicia, Spain. These collectively owned and managed forests are productive landscapes devoted to sustainable-certified wood production, carbon sequestration, and renewable energy generation. The observatory is built on top of an old concrete water tank with a twofold purpose: to frame the views of the surrounding landscape and to serve as a vibrant public space for the community, visitors, and pilgrims on nearby St. James Way. It also seeks to highlight the role of bio-based materials in decarbonizing the built environment by reducing the ecological gap between material extraction and material consumption. Thus, the piece is constructed using timber harvested from the same forest where it is located. The strategy links both spaces through a circular material economy that promotes zero-kilometer resources, sustainable silviculture practices, and local manufacturing processes. By reducing the embodied carbon and energy of the construction process, the project seeks to promote a low-carbon architecture that contributes to climate resilience and socio-economic development in rural communities and territories of Galicia.