The Tejo Power Station, located in the Belém district of Lisbon, Portugal, is regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of Portuguese industrial architecture from the first half of the 20th century.
Occupying the site of a thermoelectric plant first built in 1909 on the banks of the Rio Tejo, the building as it is seen today was first built in 1941, and provided power to the city through until the early 1970s, undergoing expansion over that time.
Encompassing architectural styles that run from art-nouveau to classicism, the power station was declared a major Portuguese heritage centre in 1986, and in 1990 became the home of the Electricity Museum, celebrating its role in bringing electrical power to Lisbon. It is in this capacity that Hermes Kondor visited it, along with his camera, returning with photographs of the building’s machinery, some 28 of which his has placed on display at the Kondor Art Centre.
And while this may sound like a boring subject – believe me it is not. The bunkers, pressure chambers, pipes, valves and metal walkways of the station’s machinery within the museum have been lovingly restored and maintained, and Hermes has captured all of this in incredible detail.
Through an exquisite use of depth-of field, macro focus, angle, framing and light, Hermes presents these machines and their individual part as living entities. From threaded nut to valves to pressure vessels to the complexity of the larger machines, the crisp detail found within each photograph is stunningly exceptional.
Displayed within a modern skybox setting that itself has a clean industrial feel to it and that perfectly complements the art on display, this is a genuinely engaging exhibition that fully captures the history and beauty of these remarkable machines.
- Kondor Art Centre (Waka, rated Moderate)