The current configuration of the main house is the result of a series of successive expansion and renovation interventions, as is common in the history of vernacular farmhouses. From generation to generation, the rectangular two-storey plan was enlarged and adjusted to the topography, shaping the neighboring road layout.
What came into our hands was a fragment of a farm, split over time. We found a house characterized by multiple clichés of popular architecture and, in the continuous process reinvention of the house, not everything was executed with constructive quality. We received a building based on large granite stones marked by expressive painted cement joints. Five feet above the street, the house was plastered. Inside, the totality of architectural elements typical of these rural examples – original ceilings, doors, frames and walls – had disappeared. We do not know the value they would have had.
The principles that guided our proposal were:
1. To preserve the original without speculating (what came to us intact – the granite walls);
2. To accept the history of the building and design from what could not be changed – structures and paving slabs.
3. To correct what were objectively unacceptable errors. A concrete eave was not acceptable, we demolished and replaced it with wood.
4. To redraw everything that was missing, delicately, without compromising or destroying.
To the East, above the main entrance patio, we inserted the new master bedroom, coated in painted wood. The cutouts that shape the plan try to minimize the contacts with the pre-existence, preserving the integrity of the house as much as possible. We chose a depigmented oak wood floor to cover the existing slab floor. We chose smooth and clear walls and ceilings, without adjectives, as in vernacular architecture.
Location:Vila Nova de Famalicão, Braga, Portugal
Lead designerarch. José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira
Design teamarch. André De Oliveira, arch. Joana LP, arch. Luís Lima.