Portuguese Works and projects
Portuguese Works and projects
House in Alenquer
The preexisting house had, as its main feature, its outside walls, which are rehabilitated by stripping them down to create spaces that, due to their presence and the ambiguity of their limits, are full of impact.
The interior and exterior spaces were reconditioned on the one side with a water tank excavated in a stretch of wall, and on the other as closed-off areas. The spaces of this small house wish to be clear. Glass creates a precise frontier in the apertures of the thick walls. Tension is created by the confrontation between a geometry freely recreated from an existing object and an object with clear rules that, via a reading of the walls, blends with and is separated from them at the same time.
The project commences with the choice of location, a traditional “gateway” to the historic center that marks the beginning of the main street leading to the sea. The opera- I tion is defined in terms of maximum occupation of the surface area, by enveloping the street and condensing the extensive program. It proceeds from a transparent reading, horizontal to the street level, which brings together all the functions and reveals the dimensions of the intervention. The project is constructed below this level —the terrain being hollowed out— by “printing” the functions on the location.1 Above, the solid, heavy masses are suspended from the perimetral walls. Set out in bands parallel to the street and intercalated with patios, the functions connect transversely! below the ground level and are organized vertically above it I The building has been designed by responding to the scale of the exceptional elements of the historic center.
The Quinta da Casa Branca Inn, Madeira
The project attempts to preserve and rehabilitate the grounds of a hundred-year-old estate in the town of Funchal, an estate that includes a verdant and well-established green zone, a path, servants’ quarters, livery stables, banana grove, old stately home and a swimming pool.
The path, protected by a running wall, links the old house to the rest of the rural installations and divides the terrain into two levels. The upper level sustains the green zone as far as the edge of the property, the servants’ quarters, cowsheds and livery stables, which currently house the administration offices and the inn’s services and infrastructures. The lower level is on a former banana-growing patch, where a new garden hugs the perimeter of the property. The stately home recovers its former splendor in being given over to its new use: restaurant, bar and service areas.
Set among the scattered pre-existing buildings are thirty guestrooms in a line along the wall next to which the path runs; all these rooms look onto the garden and the sea. The walkable distances are thus prolonged, establishing not only a strong rapport between what already existed and the new intervention, but also articulating the green zones preserved to the northeast with the new garden areas to the southwest, opposite the guestrooms. As a result the volumetry of the new building does not obstruct the vistas from the higher path.