At the heart of a large agricultural estate in Portugal’s Montijo municipality, surrounded by a vineyard and on the edge of a cork oak forest, is located Vineyard House: a single family home that combines tradition and modernity. The single-storey building, designed by architecture office Blaanc, tries to interfere as little as possible with its surrounding landscape by aligning alongside the natural elements that compose the peaceful backdrop.
Vineyard House comprises three interlocking volumes, each one possessing a flat roof. The different functions of the house are organized into these three rectangular volumes that are arranged respecting the landscape’s lines.
Each of the volumes forming part of Vineyard House is made of a different material that combines with the house’s natural surroundings
Two of the blocks consist of a concrete structure with brick masonry walls plastered and painted white, giving continuity to the existing buildings on the estate. The third volume, which features the common areas of the house, is built in rammed earth.
The rammed earth volume communicates with the entire length of an outdoor terrace which functions as an extension of the living areas. The dining room, kitchen and a sunken TV room are all set in this rectilinear block. The walls help to provide a cool interior environment during summer and mild in winter.
The two remaining volumes contain five bedrooms and corresponding bathrooms, an office, a small guest bathroom, a guest bedroom, a master bedroom and a storage area with direct access from the exterior. Some of the bedroom’s windows overlook a pair of patios set between these two blocks.
The added value that the rammed earth technique represents both environmentally and aesthetically and the demand for a sustainable solution were the drive behind the introduction of a volume made of this material. The natural beauty of the earth is left visible on portions of both the interior and exterior and is protected by an overhanging roof made from laminated wooden beams. This vernacular building technique is still recurrent in some areas of Portugal and enables a strong fusion with the surrounding environment.
Photgraphy is by João Morgado