u l t i m a t e  

a r c h i t e c t u r e

House in Guimarães / Elisabete de Oliveira Saldanha

 House, stable and a grove of oaks, chestnut and cork trees, situated on a farm, near the City of Guimarães.

Architects :    Elisabete de Oliveira Saldanha


Location :

Guimarães, Portugal


Preparation of design work :

Elisabete Saldanha, Filipe Santos, Paulo Castro


Area :     2010.0 sqm


Project Year



Photographs  :

Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The program was created to meet current needs, maintaining its original characteristics. The adjustments were to meet the original morphology of the propriety, consisting in terraces that led the house orientation and provided it with a direct access to the outside, on all floors, except the tower. The building is south oriented, arranged in an “L” shape and organized in 4 floors.

Design Furnitur :

Elisabete Saldanha


Construction Company :



Carpentry :

MachadosL.da Locksmiths

IRF Inacio Rosas e Filhos L.da


Stone :

Peixoto e Antunes


Construction area :

1500,00m2 + 510,00m2


Propriety area :

28 695.00 m2


Implantation area : 

434.00 m2


Annex Implantation area :

118.50 m2


The first floor connects to the ground floor through a spiral staircase with a strong decorative nature, which leads to a social use. The living rooms extend to the outside on the South, where the pool is the leading element, preceded by terraces and a lounge area that complements the inner social areas.

The second floor corresponds to the private areas. The tower hosts an office / library, going up from a living room on the 2nd floor. In this living room there is a strong interaction between the restoration and the contemporary intervention, marked either by the restoration of ceilings and wainscoting, or trough new solutions that favors and promotes rehabilitation and how it was conducted.

The tower has a privileged view over the landscape, operates as a viewpoint that provides an aerial view of the gardens at a lower bound, in "land art" style.

The interior is characterized by decoupling the outside. All the historical elements of the building were preserved and restored and even replicated, with a view to create an identity where the duality between the past and the present coexist in the same space. On one hand there are elements that preserve and recreate the building's historical memory, on the other hand were assumed minimalist traits that are identified with the new users. This Results in rich interior details and solutions in an interaction between the two languages without giving up the essential user comfort.

The annex retains the main features of the original building where there were stables. It now hosts a workshop that privileges the visual contact with the cars that are in the garage, as a source of inspiration to the design developed. It also keeps, whenever possible, a relationship with the surrounding landscape.

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