Molí de Testar
Lucía Martínez Rodríguez, Javier López Torres, Antonio Monsálvez Clavijo.
Cultural / Educational Equipment, Heritage
The Testar watermill is part of a complex of 4 watermills located on the Moncada irrigation ditch, outside the urban center of Paterna. The older buildings are from XIX century. They were used to grind the wheat, for the fur and for the copper industry. Nowadays Escaleta and Ferrando watermills are an event center. Martinet watermill will be probably a hotel. Testar watermill will be an Energy Museum. The four mills constitute a really interesting ethnographic, architectural and landscape group.
Crossing the railway and through a quite path surrounded by tall trees, appears at the end the façade from the Testar watermill’s dwelling. It is restrainedly decorated with tiles. On the back of it and on the irrigation ditch there is the magnificent volume of the watermill and its chimney. The project idea is to house a museum inside of this building of high ceilings, thick walls and continuous light. Large exhibition spaces for the machines, gadgets and experiments that transformed water movement into energy. And a garden. An open space to breath, with fresh air, greenness, contact with water and intense light. A space to do several activities and to learn about clean energies.
A courtyard, a garden. A fresh place that in summer will protect from the sun. Deciduous trees, a deep façade where glasses set back, vertical garden, water from the irrigation ditch. In winter the garden will change, losing its leaves and letting the light to go inside smoothly.
The watermill and the dwelling keep their image. Wood beams, high ceilings, small windows are maintained. Prefabricated panels of clay are added to the interior to improve the thermal comfort and quality. They also provide with a thermal insulation that enhances the inertia of the masonry walls. To avoid thermal bridge between façade and slab, we use a wood floor with low conductivity on the raised flooring.
A new building opens to the garden and has a multi-use space of double height. A changing light goes into the volume the whole day from the big windows of the South façade. In one side, it connects with the permanent exhibition and the watermill mechanism. In the opposite, with a long space with light from the East façade, where the temporal exhibitions are.
The new turbines generates electric energy from hydraulic energy to supply the building. Photovoltaic plates cover the deck from the new volume to support the system. An underground network of earth tubes collect air and cool or warm it, taking advantage from the stable temperature of the soil and its thermal inertia.