Torre de Palma Hotel – João Mendes Ribeiro

architect_ João Mendes Ribeiro.
co-author_ Luísa Bebiano (in the Wine Cellar and Cottar House buildings).
client_ Torre de Palma Lda – Dr. Paulo Barradas Rebelo, Dr. Isabel Rebelo.
construction_ 2012 – 2014.
situation_ Monforte, Portalegre, Portugal.
landscape architecture_ João Mendes Ribeiro.
collaborators (project phase)_ Ana Cerqueira, Ana Isabel Fernandes, Carina Carmo, Carolina Ferreira, Catarina Fortuna, Catarina Leal, Diogo Rodrigues, Filipe Catarino, Joana Brandão, Joana Canas Marques, Joana Figueiredo, Luísa Bebiano, Mafalda Moreira, Margarida Tavares, Maria Jerónima, Pedro Martins, Rui Santos, Sara Ataíde, Sofia Rangel, Teresa Silvestre.
collaborators (construction phase)_ Ana Cerqueira, Ana Maria Feijão, Catarina Fortuna, Filipe Catarino, Inês Lourenço, Joana Brandão, Joana Figueiredo, Nuno Alves Pereira.
photographs_ Eduardo Nascimento and João Fôja.

from the architects_ In the landscape of the great lowlands of the Alentejo region, the Torre de Palma estate includes an extent of agricultural fields and a sizable group of buildings confined on the southeast side of the property. The project for the installation of a Wine Hotel in this particular environment aimed to respond to the new functional program while respecting the architectural and morphological features of the built aggregate and its surrounding landscape. The intervention included both the repair and remodeling of the old farm buildings and the construction from scratch of a new set of buildings, based on precise gestures, respecting the lands’ exceptional features.

In the reconstruction of the pre-existent structures, the general configuration of each building was kept, comprising only a few minor changes in the interior spaces and the insertion of new openings when needed. Wherever necessary, structural elements, roofs or coatings were also replaced.

The new constructions had two different natures: entirely new buildings that were placed outside of the original built aggregate and new buildings that replaced old constructions – degraded and with no historic or architectonic interest – with a new common material identity: concrete structure, masonry walls and concrete slabs roofs.

In general, the land kept its original features with subtle variations according to the specificity of each area of the estate. In order to unify the space, the main yard was paved with stabilized clay, bounded by a perimeter in traditional white marble cobblestone from the Alentejo region. Outside the main aggregate, five different areas were created: a vineyard close to the ancient “levada” (a traditional irrigation channel); an olive grove close to the new swimming pool; a kitchen garden with large garden beds for organic vegetables and herbs; an orchard area close to the farm warehouses and a meadow area close to the stables and the horse riding arena.

Courtesy of João Mendes Ribeiro.