Quinta da Serra

Located in the mountains of southern Portugal, this project is the restoration and conversion of a traditional stone quinta. The intention was to make the spatial sequence of the house an intensified, abstracted distillation of the landscape: chasm, ledge and cave. The footprint of the original ruined farmhouse was used for a new stone, box-like building that forms the heart of the house. New wings spin out from this box, enclosing bedrooms and defining courtyards. Within the main stone building, two overlapping staircases forming a cross-shape in plan define different sized spaces that contain the principal activities: for living, dining, cooking and reading. The house culminates in an over-scaled chimney, emphasizing the symbolism of the hearth, and setting its face against the harsh weather.