Architecture firm extrastudio has transformed a former winery in portugal into a secluded two-storey home. the residence — photographed here by fernando guerra — is located in a small village south of lisbon, which, with its mediterranean climate and sheltered setting, created the ideal conditions for growing grapes and producing wine. Built by the client’s grandparents at the beginning of the 20th century, the original structure is set back from the main road and remains accessible via a narrow alley.
Conceived as an oasis in the middle of the village, extrastudio chose to preserve the plot’s small orchard of orange trees, which subsequently meant retaining the original building despite its lack of windows. in order to ensure a close relationship between interior and exterior space, a 14 meter-long window was cut into the façade facing the orchard. Meanwhile, a courtyard inserted into the corner abutting the adjacent properties allows light to enter the darkest areas of the house.
The property’s generously propositioned communal areas are found at ground level, with the more private rooms contained above. ‘the private areas unfold on the upper level, flanking the facades, generating a sequence of strategically placed voids, which create double and triple height spaces on the ground floor below,’ explain the architects. ‘a 9-meter high ceiling gives a palace-like dimension to the entrance hall and open-air showers are possible in the courtyard.’
In order to retain the building’s walls, the design team had to source a new lime mortar that would be compatible with the existing surface. When the new mortar is exposed to oxygen it begins to petrify, slowly turning into stone. to reinforce the building’s presence, a natural red pigment was added which takes on a variety of different appearances depending on weather and climatic conditions.
During construction, other existing materials were preserved and upcycled: roof tiles were reused, while recovered stone was transformed into sills. Even the timber roof structure now has a new lease of life as an exterior deck. raised above the ground, a dark reflecting pool in the garden recalls the form of an old irrigation tank, allowing residents to swim in what the architects describe as an ‘absolute void’.