Castra Pinheiro Architects undertook the project of rehabilitating the Quinto Dona Mathilda estate in the beautiful hillside surroundings of Porto. What they have managed to do is to keep the country charm of the original building, whilst transforming the interior into a modern haven.
This large house is a masterpiece of subtle balancing of natural simplicity inspired by nature and the marvels of modernity. The estate turns out to host a nostalgic villa with contemporary elements to ensure an eclectic home in the hillside.
It is not often that we find a rehabilitation project that manages to keep the essential character of a house as well as giving it a new breath of life and fresh feeling. Join us today as we take a look around!
From this point of view, we can see this grandiose house in all of its glory. The large structure is nestled in the middle of a hillside landscape between tiers of earth housing indigenous vegetation.
The house is a double storey building in a simple style of construction with a multitude of windows, allowing for ample natural light to enter the home.
The bottom level of the home is paved in neutral-coloured stone, whilst the second storey and the left wing are painted a lovely ochre that suits the surroundings.
In the entrance way of the house, which also hosts a half landing staircase to the second storey, is decked out in beautifully polished timber. This light, natural paving on the floor, the wall and the treads of the staircase is an introduction to this earthy element that will be repeated throughout the home's interior.
This image provides insight into the modernity of the home and its rehabilitation. The wood is polished and sleek, sharply contrasting to the white of the opposing wall and ceiling, as well as the stair banister which consists of several pillars extending to the ceiling.
Moving along inside the house, we find ourselves in the kitchen. The theme of simplicity is continued in this room as well, with clear areas and minimal ornamentation.
The floor is tiled in black and white cubes in a classic tradition. This is an easy way to bring interest into the design of the room without over-burdening it with too many items and decorative objects, or even colour.
At the rear of the room we can see the back door of the kitchen in a brilliant crimson. This is the only touch of colour and draws the eye across the room to the end of the kitchen.
The cabinets are minimal in design, in white timber which allows for ample hidden storage, and also houses a conventional and microwave oven.
As we come to the living room, our attention is immediately drawn to the large fire place, located centrally in the room. Here we can once again see the timber used in the entryway and staircase. The repeated use of this specific material creates a sense of continuity throughout the home.
This focal piece provides a functional space—where a fire could be built and enjoyed, as well as where logs and fuel can be stored—but it also covers a large area which is not functionally utilised. This is not wasteful by far, as the wooden-decked area provides decoration in a room which has little other adornment.
If you're also looking at integrating wooden elements into your home—whether it be for functional or purely aesthetic reasons—you might like to check out: How To Integrate Wooden Elements Into Your Home.
At the rear of the home and on the second storey of the house, there is a porch leading out from the building.
The porch itself is paved in jagged and natural stone tiles. This is a very appropriate material to suit the natural surroundings. The porch area is edged off by crimson-painted, metal balustrades, in the same colour as the lovely French doors which open up on the porch. The doors and windows are surrounded by a boundary of white trimming. Together with the crimson and ochre, the colour scheme creates a neutral atmosphere in which to spend all the lazy summer afternoons.
Getting to the outside of the house in the front of the property, we find a lovely pool area. It consists of a wooden deck, a stone paved area and walkway, as well as a compact lawn for recreation.
Then we get to the pool. The large, outstretched runs parallel with the edge of the tier on which the house is built. As we can see here, the water disappears over the edge of the tier—a perfect infinity pool which must make all its guests feel like they are swimming at the edge of the world. What's more is that the views from this point is unparalleled in beauty. This pool offers sights of the entire valley which stretches out until it meets the picturesque mountains behind it.
It is clear that the inhabitants of this home are offered the best of the rustic environment and scenic surroundings, whilst the experience is supplemented with modern facilities in the interior.