In the heart of the village of Malveira da Serra, at the foot of the Serra de Sintra in Portugal, architect Pedro Quintela has transformed an old rural residence into an “embracing house”. The closed U-shaped house in ruins with the small patio used for farming sparked an intimate call to the designer, who decided to buy the property and breathe life into it.
As the old apartment had been left as a ‘rock pile’, the cleaning phase was crucial for the development of the whole project. The architect is always present and follows every step of his team of five to get to know the building better and uncover every corner. He was also able to discover artifacts from the past, reinterpret them in his work and give them a new life.
Following a holistic approach, the architect created a specific structure with identity, beauty, truth and value. The rejuvenation of the home is the result of the designer’s view of architecture as an evolutionary process linked in three phases: adaptation; transformation and crystallization. Through this process, the new structure is an authentic work respecting the “spirit of the place”. In the specific case of this intervention, it can be said that the once small, confused and very compartmentalized “house in the shape of a hug” opened its arms to transform itself into a fluid, spacious, luminous and at the same time welcoming place.