Located on the Alentejo Coast, the Monte Novo da Cruz is a rural property strongly characterized by a gently undulating land with slopes sometimes relevant. The presence of a curtain of high trees along the south-eastern perimeter of the site and a dense vegetation near a south-western stream stand out in the landscape.
In the centre of the property, in a high position, there is an old rural constructionin an advanced state of degradation.
The proposal for the Monte Novo da Cruz seeks to establish a contrast dialogue between the existing and the new building which sometimes merge with each other, creating a smooth transition between the past and the present. This relationship is materialized through two types of intervention, placed at different levels on the ground:
In the upper level, the intervention consists on recovering and expanding the existing building for owners’ house. The planimetric composition is made up by a succession of spaces,which ends with a double height common lounge with a central fireplace.On the north-west side are located the main entrance and supporting spaces intercalated with small garden courtyards for natural lighting and ventilation.On the south-east side, to the contrary, are located the main spaces overlooking the garden and pool.
In the lower level, the intervention results in a new independent building that adapts to the topography of the site and uses the slope of the ground to differentiate the owners’ house of the guestareas. This long volume, half-buried and perpendicular to the line of trees, preserves the scale of the house and reinforces the verticality of vegetation. Its unique façade is characterized both by a wide opening framing vistas of the landscape as well asby a stand-alone pergola reducing the amount of direct sunlight coming inside the rooms and providing privacy for guests.At the level of arrival the building is almost imperceptible to the eye,only a long terrace with seating areas for contemplation of the surrounding nature is visible.
The connection between the two volumes is developed through a central courtyard, the heart of the whole complex.It is from it that is organized the distribution and access to the different parts.