Located in central Alcácer do Sal, Alentejo, the 14 hectare property named ‘Sítio das Lezírias’ has long been used for farming. The surrounding region, near the navigable Sado river, is known as a fertile zone for agriculture. A strategy to revive old agricultural land and integrate new techniques presented itself and Ateleir Data was tasked with rehabilitating the stables into new housing. This project allowed the Lisbon-based architectural firm to rethink domestic space and how people can re-inhabit aging structures.
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The long and linear stables consisted of a series of stalls with an open corridor in the center for moving horses bridged by a large and airy timber roof. Retaining much of the original layout, Atelier Data kept the central corridor, combined some stalls into larger rooms and converted others into closets and bathrooms. Old doorways were enclosed with new windows that offer views, light and cross ventilation. They used affordable and durable materials to renovate while keeping the airy timber roof, and refinishing the walls with a waxed micro cement and pouring cement floors, which were also waxed. Artist João Mouro created murals in all washbasins with recycled materials from other old buildings. The result is a simple home of four flexible rooms and an open floor plan kitchen, dining and living room that serves as a stunning example of how old can be made new again.
Images ©Richard John Seymour