|Project Name||Quinta de Lemos||Posted in||Hotels, Architecture||Location||
|Telephone||00351 232 951 748||[email protected]||Architecture Practice||Carvalho Araújo Architects|
|Visit Website||quintadelemos.com||More Info|
Trees and scrubland adorn the otherwise arid sun-beaten gently undulating landscape of the Portuguese Dão Valley as far as the eye can see. Apart from the soft breeze, the air is soundless. Standing slightly elevated, a concrete slab snakes around the landscape whilst strangely fitting right in to the surrounding wilderness. The slab itself forms the roof of a single-story building that nestles among the large rocks that protect the building from the wind. Come nightfall, the building almost glows in the dark. In the daytime, the rural landscape of the vineyards dresses the building walls with sands, scrubland, golden sunrays and blue skies.
Designed by architecture heavyweights Carvalho Araújo (CA), Quinta de Lemos was completed in 2012. Located inland 50 miles from Coimbra close to the town of Silgueiros (Viseu) in Portugal, the property is an all-encompassing venue focused on the art of wine drinking for the family-run wine brand Quinta de Lemos and encompasses a restaurant, guesthouse and wine cellar. With its glass and concrete structure welcoming oenology enthusiasts, respected wine critics and the lay wine aficionado alike, instead of providing a purely commercial atmosphere, the house has a restful luxury holiday setting ideal for indulging in award-winning Quinta de Lemos vintages and for showcasing the family’s savoir-faire.
Despite the rigid materials used in the construction, the shape is full of movement. It recalls the topography around it, echoing the gentle slopes and rugged barren characteristic of the dry inland region. In fact, when CA conceived the design, great care was taken for the floor plan to respect the contours of the land’s lines. The result is a slick sinuous but angular shape that hugs the craggy landscape. The firm had its work cut out when it came to adapting the shape of the building to maintaining privacy for guests, maximising the views of the landscape and vineyards, and amplifying natural light giving a certain crispness to the light inside.
The asymmetrical building has three guestrooms, a dining room and a tropical green lap pool that reflects the exteriors that sit just on the other side of the glass walls. The rooftop built with paving stones acts as a colossal viewing deck for watching the colours of the landscape change as the sun travels from east to west where the elevated position of the house allows for guests to see all the way to the horizon.
Designed as a contribution to the de Lemos brand image in exactly the right setting for showcasing the company’s natural wine production, the house is also very cosy – despite the hard materials that have been used and seemingly lacking personal touch. With no reception, and each room designed as a self-contained space with unique character and total comfort, the formal hotel experience is shied away from. As an apt symbol of the surrounding area, all in all the guesthouse reflects the de Lemos family’s focus and values in keeping the wine making process as natural as possible.