Quinta da Amieira project aimed to remodel and expand a family wooden house built in the 70s in the heart of the city of Maia, Portugal.
Inserted in a plot of 7000m2 punctuated by cork oaks and alders, the house had a typical Midwest design, a wooden box resting on a solid concrete plinth, with a fiber cement roof.
Although mostly built-in wood and surrounded by vegetation, the house remained a strange object to the context since its construction. The only connection between the interior and the exterior was the entrance door, with no interaction between the interior spaces and the exuberant exterior.
Although the family had not inhabited this space for a long time, they still felt emotionally attached to it. They intended to intervene in the house and in the surrounding land with the aim of creating not a family home but a family’s house. It should materialize the family spirit, the pleasure of socializing, the taste for nature and intergenerational learning.
The character of the preexistence showed the way, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie and Schwartz houses would serve as a model for the project.
All the pre-existence elements were reused, interior and exterior walls, functional distribution, and location of openings. Yet the house gains a new character: From the Midwest jumps to the Hamptons. The brown of the wood changes to white, the small windows become doors, the interior kitchen is relocated in a glass box facing north that relates intimately with the garden and the interior circulations are illuminated through the introduction of skylights, that rescue light to spaces that were once taciturn and dark.
The outdoor space, designed by atelier OhLand! develops from the creation of a vegetation cover to the surroundings and a winding path, which goes around the pre-existing trees and the house.