HOUSE OF THE HILL

Monsoon | Portugal​

PRIOR STUDY, LICENSING PROJECT AND WORK MANAGEMENT

The building maintains the existing volume.


The austere façade, made up of trimmed stone blocks, is a symbol of a building typology associated with the agro-pastoral economy. Conjugated elements such as the stone capes, the gable roof, the housing on the upper floor and the shelter for animals on the lower floor with opposite accesses, the step between the threshold level of the ground floor and the level of this floor to allow placement of gorse that served as a “bed” for the animals, among others, recall centuries-old buildings located in a mountain known as cardenhas, which served as temporary housing in the seasonal pastoral activity.


Taking into account the historical importance of this building typology, it is the owner's intention to intervene as little as possible on the outside of the building, adapting the functions of the compartments to the existing facades.


From the silence that prevails in the rehabilitation, only two openings on the upper floor are widened, to allow a wider entrance of natural light inside the house and to allow the existence of an external space to support the house. At the same time that they are widened, it is proposed to place a protruding ring, which marks the intervention and protects the gap from the elements. These openings highlight important areas in the proposal, either for the intended fluidity between the interior and the exterior (balcony) or for the visual relationship with the surrounding landscape, characteristic of Alto Minho.


The initial shape of an annex, in ruins, is now decomposed into two elements: a balcony and a pergola. The balcony allows for the fluidity of social enjoyment between indoors and outdoors. The pergola extends the conviviality to a cooler outdoor area with a wide and demure view over the surroundings. The maintenance of existing remains allows to recreate the initial coverage but now covered with vegetation, which can create various environments, either at the time of flowering,
from fruiting, or even from falling leaves. The pergola will be a place in constant transformation in contrast to the austere and unchanging volume of the building, which resists the passage of time.


The existing building is internally sectioned, intentionally dividing the two floors. When it was built, the aim was to build the owners' housing on the upper floor and the animal shelter on the lower floor. The building was built into the ground and the external connection between floors carved in the existing rock. The external accesses to each floor, independent, were located on opposite facades. To minimize the effect of the weather, sometimes harsh, inside the building, the openings in the facades were opened in a contained way. Despite this, the upper floor contrasts with the lower floor due to the number of spans and the existence of at least one span in each façade.


The objective of the rehabilitation will be to maintain the original character of the building but adapting to the current use of housing, encompassing the two floors.