Quinta do Santinho

Location: Amarante, Portugal
Date: 2015-ongoing
Gross Area: 534 m2
Co-authorship: Rossana Ribeiro
Collaboration: João Dias-Oliveira
Art & Styling: Fernando Marques de Oliveira

Briefing: To transform an old agricultural farm into an agrotourism facility, with five different types of accommodation, while preserving its rural character and the memories of the owners.

Intervention: When we visited the farm for the first time, we immediately apprehended the central terrace, with a triangular plan - around which the three buildings that make up the small agricultural nucleus gravitate -, as a privileged social space with a communitarian vocation, of circulation and distribution between the various areas of the property. This functional and representative core has at the same time an intimate character, its centrality being accentuated by a leafy fig tree which functions as a natural dome that tints the light and regulates the temperature, protecting the yard from the intense sun in the warmer months. The general intention of the architectural intervention was to maintain and emphasize the rural spirit already present in the built ensemble and its surroundings, eliminating the dissonant elements, from a stylistic and constructive point of view, that were added over time to the original constructions, preserving the characteristic solutions and seeking to ensure that the introduction of new elements did not detract from the overall image of the existing ones. The new program was organized by locating the service functions on the ground floor, taking advantage of its more direct relationship with the outdoor spaces, and the accommodation spaces on the upper floor, giving them greater privacy. In the treatment of the façades, it was decided to expose the granite stone apparatus whenever possible and an old pink pigment, evocative of the wild fruit culture and “brand image” of the owners’ agricultural production, was used, combining them with a nature inspired green tone on the new wooden frames. In the interiors special attention was paid to the enhancement of pre-existing elements, namely to the wooden structures of floors and roofs, to the ovens of the old kitchen and to the granite mill integrated in the new store/reception of the enterprise, with wood prevailing as the material of choice in the new elements introduced. Some elements of a more vernacular nature, already too deteriorated, were reinterpreted according to contemporary design and technique, with the intention of maintaining the spirit of the place and period of the original construction.