Rich in History: Stone Ruins Surround Modest Coastal Home

In fact, calling them ruined may be overreaching, for the stones themselves are in remarkable shape after centuries of wind and weathering on the coasts of Portugal.

In combination with understated new living areas, these masonry walls (left standing by the clients and designed around by Orgânica Arquitectura) create a kind of antique curtain wall in places and a three-sided enclosure for an exterior entry courtyard in others.

Community gathering, working and cooking zones are situated below, wrapped in rock or looking out onto stone-enclosed outside zones. A pair of sleeping rooms are lofted above, with views that overlook the roofless tops of the old structure.

With appropriate minimalism, steel bars were sparingly introduced on an as-needed basis to create doors, gateways and secure windows, responding to demands of functional safety without overly impacted the historic aesthetic.

Simple white and black walls and window trim let the added elements stand apart from the richly-aged stone, while traditional curved clay roof tiles make the modern residence feel like a contemporary but respectful part of the regional architectural fabric.

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