João Mendes Ribeiro is a Portuguese architect having the HQ of his namesake architectural office in Coimbra, Portugal. Despite leading internationally awarded studio, he also works as a lecturer at University of Coimbra.
Torre de Palma Wine Hotel stands among the beautiful landscape of the Alentejo region. The estate includes an immense volume of the buildings located on the southeast side of agricular property. The project responses to a current need of the holder and a new functional program, at the same time respects the landscape and the heritage of an existing building. The architect’s intervention embodies refurbishment of the old construction, as well as creating brand new set of volumes, while maintaining respect for the local architecture.
„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, ” the architect says.
While leaving former architecture deprived with any unnecessary alterations and keeping its original traditional outlook, the new construction is a true homage to the virtue of modesty. Simple shape of the structure featuring concrete, masonry walls and concrete slabs roofs delights with its simplicity and functionality. The work of João Mendes Ribeiro is an ideal example of a close coexisting of tradition and contemporaneity.