“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The first thing you notice when you visit the Quinta do Monte D’Oiro winery is the breathtaking scenery of vineyards surrounded by hills. It acts as the ultimate backdrop complementing their award-winning wines and creates a unique and unforgettable experience when visiting their new Wine Tasting Room.
From a conceptual approach, the first consideration was to design a building that would have little to no impact on the landscape; to maintain the scenery, and treat the views as the main feature of any new structure. Another extremely important factor was the significant and challenging slope in the location where the new wine tasting room would be built in.
The design process took us to the roots of traditional Portuguese winemaking were centuries ago, people managed to transform dramatic hills into surfaces that could grow vines. We have decided to name our proposal ” to honor that tradition and to explore the same technique to build the new Wine Tasting Room. This new structure would be incorporated into the landscape, instead of being added to it.
Upon breaking down the site’s slope into a sequence of organic terraces, we located the Wine Tasting Room below the last terrace, with the entrance located at the intersection of an existing pathway between buildings and close to a series of existing stairs that connect the Winery building and the Vineyards. The green roof of the wine room extends the current vegetated space in front of the Winery Building, transforming it into a contemplation terrace, to better view the vineyards and landscape. The Wine Tasting Room’s layout is developed organically and follows the shape of the terrace. The stone wall of the terraces is replaced by a continuous glass operable door, to allow the extension of the room to the exterior, allowing for the wine tasting to take place in the exterior, if weather permits. This strategy allows the space to expand and contract according to the winery’s needs.
Both the interior and exterior of the Wine Tasting Room are finished with natural materials that are locally available and are part of the traditional construction methods of Portuguese architecture. The exterior of the building is completely clad in stone, with a single curved glass opening, surrounded by a corten steel window frame that acts as a shading device to prevent heat gain from the summer sun. Due to the tectonic nature of the wall materials, the exterior stone walls use the concept of thermal mass, popular in vernacular architecture, absorbing and releasing energy from the elements, maintaining the interior temperature stable, and avoiding overheating and the of mechanical systems. The intensive green roof provides thermal control and an efficient rainwater management system for the building, also reinforcing the connection of the building to the site and existing landscape.
The interior design of the room aims to be discreet to focus the visitor’s attention on the beautiful views of the vineyards. As one of the main interior features, we have decided to highlight wine bottles and to transform the retaining wall into a full-length wine rack, using bottles to create a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere for visitors.