In the heart of the Village of Malveira da Serra, located at the base of Serra de Sintra, facing south and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, was where the Artist / Architect Pedro Quintela developed this project.
Found in ruins, it was a confined and robust rural house in the shape of a “U”, which embraced a small patio used for agricultural purposes.
Among countless visits to the place, which aroused an intimate call, in the year 2008, the Architect decided to ask the neighborhood if they knew whose property it was. The name of the owners and the surrounding locality where they lived were indicated to him by a neighbor. That same day, the Architect went to that village. He met, in one of his streets, only one person, who surprisingly was precisely the one he was looking for!
The Architect showed his interest in the ruin, explained the kind of interventions he was making and proposed the purchase of the so called “pile of stones”, leaving the former owners perplexed by his enthusiasm.
The “cleaning” phase was crucial for the development of the whole work. Always present and following every step of his team of five workers, the ruin was meticulously cleaned, giving him the possibility not only to get to know it more intimately, unveiling all its nooks and crannies, but also to discover some artefacts of yesteryear, reinterpreting them in the new work and giving them another life. Although the intervention was entirely inspired by reminiscences of the past of this place, only the solid original stone walls prevailed.
With a very unique way of being in the profession and believing that the success of his architectural interventions depends on his total availability to accompany them in-loco, the Architect decides to move into a nearby house. This change allows him to integrate and familiarize himself with the modus vivendi of the inhabitants of the village, as well as to create the conditions understood as crucial for a healthy growth of the work, where harmony of details reigns in a whole.
Respecting and preserving the identity of the original construction, the recovery of the ruin was made using local materials, such as pine wood and granite from the Sierra, but it was based mainly on the existing ones. As if recreating a new “puzzle”, the Architect resorted to the original materials of the house itself and gave them new functions elsewhere.
The work took place over two years, starting with a team of five people. As the work became more detailed and requiring greater levels of demand, attention and skill, the number of employees had to decrease. With only two workers it became possible to establish a special understanding, instil discipline and brio in the process of creating the work.
Your method of working is, you assure us, intuitive. His real clients are his own works, it is with them that he spends most of his time, “listening to them” with all the attention. They are the ones who “speak softly” to you and tell you how they want to be rebuilt. As if he were a “spokesman”, he assumes that his job is above all to “listen” and create in that unique place, what he asks to be done, or not! If the “communication” is established, it becomes practical, rescuing itself from forgetfulness, cardboard models and from the fundamental and constant dialogue with its collaborators, which it considers of vital importance in the minimization of the interval of error in the work and fluidity of the process.
Through his Holistic concept, here he worked the disorganized energies, using them, assimilating and organizing them forming a specific structure with identity, creating beauty, truth and value. He strongly believes in Architecture as a process of evolution (just like nature) interconnected in three phases: Adaptation (immediate responses of the place); Transformation (reflection) and Crystallization (Creation). Only by going through this process, considers a work to be authentic, thus respecting “The Spirit of Place”.
In the particular case of this intervention, it can be said that the once small, confused and very compartmentalised “house in the form of an embrace”, opened its arms to transform itself into a fluid, spacious, luminous and at the same time welcoming space, where everything makes