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January 27, 2019

Ruin rebuild

Rebuild of ruin just outside Castanheira do Pera

In small village just outside Castanheira do Pera, down an unused track lies a stone ruin with no electricity connection, mains water or sewage connection. The project is to rebuild, keeping as much original as possible, maintaining a traditional feel and appearance, yet provide comfortable interior that is completely off-grid. 

It has been rumoured that the ruin was built but never lived in. The first task was to clear away the trees and bushes and find out what was actually there. Turns out not much of the original stone and mud walls could be used, although the bread oven shows no sign of carbon or soot, supporting the rumour that the old house had never been used.

What to keep and what to rebuild? After much consideration, the owners decided to keep the original walls on the lower level, but to rebuild with the same stones for all the upper level. This allows for upgrading the thermal efficiency by installing insulation inside the walls, but keeping traditional external appearance.

With decision made for complete rebuild, the art of selecting stones and rebuilding in traditional style gets into full swing. We are now just six weeks into the project.

Building in natural stone may be slow, but why rush the creation of something beautiful and so long lasting, it will be passed from generation to generation.

Careful selection of traditional and modern materials, natural stone and modern high performance insulation, blends the best of both worlds, creating a space that naturally feels homely, warm and inviting.

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