Casa da Senra
THE SPACE CHARACTERIZATION This descriptive memory is all about a project that intended to recover and built a one-family house, located in a rural community on the periphery of Fafe. This is a project of restoration, renovation and adaptation of the existing housing complex that was ruined, with operations in cement. At the same time, the initial program intended to satisfy the requirements of quality of life and contemporary patterns of use of space and its perception without losing the identity of many years of "man touch" in the landscape of a sunny hillside, crossed by a creek. Thus, the project is characterized by interventions that involves the process of clear it out all the changes that have been carried out over the time and that deformed the typical rural architecture of this region, so we can recreate, in part, the picturesque aspect of the language of Portuguese architecture, so well studied by Keil do Amaral (he has left an historical legacy of Portuguese architecture – The Portugal of “the little ones`). Once we try to clear and rebuild an image with its own identity of its exterior, the interior is well thought and designed to be modulate, both with the intention of a custom language, according to the pragmatic content, as with the language that allows to maintain the pre-existences and the recovery of that typical and regional language through a dogmatic reading well demonstrated by the materials, threads and intentions. Thus, it remains the pre-existence of the openings, sets in stone, with wooden roof trusses, doors, and other elements, while trying to blame the intervention with overhead light, space for equipment, partitioning appropriate to current and personal needs of the client, and yet, on the other hand, fulfill all this by addressing the constraints throughout the project and the work. The set is shaped like a circle rather deformed, and goes along with the natural movement of sunlight in all buildings, creating an interior space outdoors that will become a square, something very similar to the style left by the Iberian culture, Celtic and Roman. The pragmatic content consists on the use of the pre-existing buildings, some in ruins, others deformed, opting to leave the gaps, with two floors in the main body, one in the spaces of support, without losing the daylight in the interior space of the set. The ground floor will have the entertainment, social and living areas, while the upper floor will have rooms, working and the intimate zone. Since the moment we enter the main Hall, where we find a door in a rudimentary structure in wood and glass, lowered on the large buildings set in stone that characterize the set overall, we become aware that the stone and wood were married in a symbiotic perfect. The Hall has access to two different spaces, that follows one after another, in which the majority in different dimensions. The Kitchen has 1 right-foot free superior to all other areas and through this has access to a space of connection with the double height and stained glass that forms the walls, overlooking the courtyard and the entrance area of the gate source forming on the outside a tower of light, yet unrecognizable, since it is covered with a batten exterior. It is important to refer as well, that the Kitchen, in the north of Portugal and according the basic architecture, it’s the space chosen for familiar union, having a connection with the existent, being huge and with furniture adapted to the style of this kind of house. All the study and work involved the same framing of pieces laid out with the functionality and family life that is needed in a project. As an example, we were attentive to create a stall near a window so as to minimize the less desirable gesture of washing the dishes back to the other persons that are at the same space. The living room, with a multifunctional language, long, has a view of the courtyard and another one that is public that situates on the back of housing; it is the site of the family by choice, for here is a space that serves as living space and transition, which is the lounge area with open connection to the hall and kitchen. A chimney is visible from the rudimentary entrance with its right foot rising over the cliffs of the remaining natural slope within the housing. A sumptuous door gives access to the office and guests rooms that may have seen to be invited to stay overnight. Upstairs there are two single rooms, with their respective health facilities and hallways, so there are two suites in the main body. Altogether there are two more suites for guests and for a future family expansion. Going back to the ground floor, the kitchen is a open area, featuring the space with antique pieces, a running balcony and a door with access to the volume of rough wood and the plaza situated outside, where we can see the entire place from the hillside facing south and west. To the old cellar it was joined the old cattle cuts, expanding its space and retrieving it looks. The winery has access to the patio. From the courtyard there is the access to a gym downstairs, being a hall that will have two or three fitness equipment; inside the gym, we can access the adjacent changing rooms. The old mill remained in place, standing under the stone that the ancients placed there with their sweat and values, that still remain today and are honoured for their efforts through the memory of the worked granite. An area of old building will be recovered to get the laundry and linen room on the ground floor that serves as technical space for the machinery that fuels the housing and combines a biomass fired boiler and solar panels to heat water and radiators set. On its upper floor, a room will come across, with toilets, a foyer and a suite with a terrace that gets the display of two realities. This purpose happens so that it’s possible to enjoy the remaining slope to the valley, and the interior square composed with the set of granite and brown. The courtyard is the space resulting from the buildings made over time, where before it was a space for animals and people circulation. It was agreed to pave this area allowing the pre-existing, as the walls that limit and divide the square in terraces, the pious dug into the stone and masonry that were in ruins and made to be supportive, with the agreement to keep them as elements decorative, as one of the ruins. This ruin has resulted in an extension of the wall that leaves the building and terminates in a small green space, where a real Portuguese tree grows: the holly tree is the only owner of the plaza. Traces of 'street' left by the use and the times in the plaza will be maintained as well as the decor in the traditional Portuguese pavement. The texture of the stone masonry with the pavement gave result to a joint approach in its entirety, and the wood is distinguished by its bright color on granite helpful and pleasant. With so many typical details that were retained, we could not forget the language of tile coverage, except in a volume that forms a roof to support the suite. Hedges are generally in wooden trusses, which are mostly visible, forming the intrinsic content of construction and decoration. The outside spaces are recovered in green spaces and gardens, located around the building, leaving a grassland rural and semi-forest, in a background of buildings, with trees and grass and wild flowers, with drawings to define the slopes of the terrain, taking advantage of its morphology; as shot from the gutters of the tiles and separation of lawn and garden spaces to put pebbles in the river because there is a stream on the south of the dwelling Accessing the housing is achieved through the Street of Senra and the ancient gates that takes us to the square dwellings, those ones being at the east and west, as stipulated by the rules of good urbanism ancestor, allowing access to vehicles and people through a path for agricultural activities, creating an avenue from north to south, that gives the main entrance of the complex of ancient buildings now transformed. MANUEL RIBEIRO architect


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