Granite and slate House in Castelo Melhor by Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos

Granite and slate House in Castelo Melhor by Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos

Architects: Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos
Location: Castelo Melhor, Portugal
Year: 2013
Area: 2.443 ft²/ 227 m²
Photography: ©Luis Ferreira Alves

“The characterisation of the surroundings is clearly filled with rural aspects, revealing a low construction density, where the buildings rarely have more than a floor and are confronted with a vast and extraordinary natural landscape.

The house to be constructed intends to establish a visual relation with the surrounding landscape, mainly the castle and the astonishing valleys planted with olive trees or almond trees. On the other hand, in the centre of this terrain there is a particular pre-existence with rather interesting characteristics, both for its patrimonial nature, and for the beauty and interest in safeguard, which is the threshing-floor in stone – granite and slate, in pieces of huge dimensions and a rather interesting design. The threshing-floor itself has 15m by 15m.

For this reason, the intention is to set the house on a slightly higher level than this one, releasing it physically from the threshing-floor so that it wouldn’t pervert it and so that it can use it as a resting place, as an outside terrace, as a well-defined platform, whereby the house is implanted according to its measures and close to it, but with some formal autonomy at the same time.

It was also extremely important in the decision of its implantation the fact that the set would guarantee the maintenance of the majority of the trees, leaving the house surrounded by vegetation as it is possible to see in the photos of the existing.

The materials used on the exterior are: shale’s masonry identical to the one existent on the site, covering all of the structural walls; the white concrete for the lower and upper slabs that are visible; the concrete will be coffered with wood boards without any finishing so that it can be printed on it the wood’s texture.

This house is composed by one floor with the main entrance practically in the threading of the terrain’s entrance, although there are several windows that allow the direct access to the exterior.

On the interior, the social zone works as a kind of open space and there is a franc division between this which is directly connected with the kitchen and the more private zona with three bedrooms, closets and bathrooms, being that the element that does this transition is a living room with a more intimate character. The fireplace’s volume does this separation, while connecting both rooms visually, since it works for both sides. This volume will have a particular protagonism in the space. Here there is also zenithal lighting, since it’s the most interior part of the house.

The existing walls, traditional in this area of the country, are rehabilitated in all of the surrounding terrain. The lightness of the house is accentuated by its fragmentation on the four corners, asymmetric for different reasons, either looking for a landscape framing, due to the dominant winds or even sun exposure.”

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